Something weird was bound to happen. It was a Friday the 13th and weird is the only way a Friday the 13th could go.
Athens Academy’s (3-0) 13-0 victory over Cherokee Bluff (1-3) could be considered the quickest (and weirdest) win in the history of Slaughter Field.
The game lasted a total of 6 minutes and 47 seconds. A lot happened in the Spartans’ favor in that time. Kurt Knisely returned a punt 61 yards for a score. Trey Willis snagged an interception that set up a 40-yard run by Knisely that left the Spartans on the doorstep of another score.
Palmer Bush hit Deion Colzie for a 3-yard touchdown and before the extra point was blocked.
The skies darkened off to the northwest of Slaughter and play was stopped as lightning had been detected in the area.
After about two hours of waiting around and watching the Slaughter Field grass turn into a swamp and some brilliant displays of lighting in the close proximity of the stadium the decision was made to declare the Spartans the winners.
Athens Academy head coach Josh Alexander isn’t much of a believer in the supernatural workings of the Friday the 13th, but the oddities of Friday night even raised his eyebrows a tad.
“I don’t believe in Friday the 13th other than when the moon is right you catch a lot of fish and when the moon is right people get weird, but that’s sort of what happened tonight,” Alexander said with a laugh. “This was a weird night. It hadn’t rained in 87,422 days and all of a sudden it’s pouring down rain. I don’t know what’s going on.”
The Spartans have almost become accustomed to the weirdness of the start of their football season. Friday the 13th has could almost be applied to their entire first quarter of the season. Of any team in area, the Spartans have had the quirkiest of starts among them.
The Spartans immediately had a week off after their scrimmage game. They traveled to Savannah where they faced Savannah Christian School before another week off. They returned last week for a game against Stephens County High School and just when they thought they’d created some rhythm to the season, they get another defacto week off with the abbreviated victory on Friday.
The Spartans just want to play football. Early on, that’s been the biggest challenge to the 2019 edition of Athens Academy’s football program.
“It’s been crazy the last few weeks, it’s like everything is stacked against the game of football,” Alexander said. “The weather, the (wet) bulb, just everything that can go wrong of trying to practice, the contact rules, the heat sends us inside. We just want some cooler weather and seven straight football games. That’s all we want. We just want to play football.”
There won’t be any football played by the Spartans this week as the school takes its interim week adding yet another bye week to the unusually fresh Spartans.
There are a few things that Alexander was able to see from the short time the Spartans were on the field on Friday. Knisely’s performance stuck out to Alexander. Knisely has been one of the Spartans’ hottest players to start the 2019 season and he kept his roll going on Friday.
Knisely touched the football twice and collected 101 yards and a touchdown. He carried the ball once for 40 yards.
“What’s been fun is watching Kurt Knisely, he’s just really become the player that we all want to be,” Alexander said. “He’s sort of can’t go wrong right now. He’s tough and he’s a four-year starter. His leadership is great. He’s the man right now.”