Highway 31 Showdown: Athens vs. Brownsboro - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News


Highway 31 Showdown: Athens vs. Brownsboro

Football fans in Henderson County were divided for the last regular season football game. On one side the Brownsboro Bears, on the other the Athens Hornets.

The Highway 31 showdown was a win to get in situation for one team, a district championship for the other.

"It's been a rivalry since Athens and Brownsboro started playing each other," said Athens quarterback Wesley Starkes.

"Couldn't be any better,"said Brownsboro quarterback Jordan Magee. "For the district championship we are playing our rivals with Athens.

The Athens Hornets made the shift from a Class 4A team to a 3A team. The once geographical rivalry with Brownsboro became a district rivalry. No one could have predicted that on the last regular game of the season it would come down to these two teams for a district championship.

"We haven't won a district title since 1995 I think," said Brownsboro running back Ricco Richards,  "so it feels real good to be put in this situation. Knowing that we would be known as the next district champs."

"We just got a good team and we are trying to make it to the playoffs," said Athens strong safety Jimiron High.

Athens entered Friday's game at 2-2 in district. A win and the Hornets would secure a playoff berth, for the first time in almost a decade.

"We've been looking forward to this since the past off season," Wesley said.

Brownsboro was 3-1 going into the night poised at the top of District 14-3A.

"We want to come out with a district championship so we are going to bust our tails for it," Ricco said.

"Over the years it's been big and like Ricco said, we are the only two teams in Henderson county so it's just the passion of the game," Chris Cumby of Brownsboro said.

But the Hornets were looking to reverse history. Last year it was Brownsboro winning over Athens 34-13.

"They have to win to get in," Ricco said. "That's what we expect. We want them to come out hard. We are going to fire back just as well."
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