Athens Academy juniors Deion Colzie and Hugh Laughlin celebrate a touchdown in Friday’s win over Stephens County High School. 

The Athens Academy Spartans defeated the Stephens County Indians 49-19 on Friday night at Slaughter Field.

Athens Academy came out early in the game and set the tone all night long. They jumped out to a 28-0 with 8:26 remaining in the first half. Half of those points came off a Palmer Bush-Deion Colzie connection that was working efficiently.

“We were excited coming into the game,” Athens Academy head coach Josh Alexander. “Our kids were prepared with a good week of practice and we played good football.”

The first touchdown score came less than two minutes into the game when Bush found Colzie wide open for a 31-yard touchdown pass. Then, Bush found Colzie again less than two minutes later for a 37-yard touchdown pass.

Bush ended the first half 4-for-5 passing for 109 yards with 2 passing touchdowns. Colzie recorded with those two touchdowns alone, a total of 68 receiving yards.

Colzie was all over the field Friday night, too. On the Indians’ third possession of the game, Colzie intercepted Stephens County’s quarterback and returned it 15 yards for the turnover.

Alexander highlighted the growth he’s seen from his junior quarterback compared to last season.

“He’s more mature and comfortable back in the pocket,” Alexander said. “All of it comes with age.”

Special teams made a huge play in this game, too. Following the Colzie interception, the Spartans went three-and-out and setup to punt the ball away. On the punt, the Indians’ returner muffed it, a host of Spartans fell on the ball and recovered it on the Indians’ 5-yard line. On the very next play, the 3-star linebacker Len’Neth Whitehead scampered in for a rushing touchdown, which extended the lead, 21-0.

The Indians’ defense seemed to shift their focus on Colzie and Whitehead for the remainder of the first half, which opened an opportunity for Kurt Knisely.

For more on this story, see the Sept. 12 edition of The Oconee Enterprise, on sale now at convenience stores and grocery stores and newspaper boxes throughout Oconee County. To subscribe, go to oconeeenterprise.com or call (706) 769-5175.

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