Athens look to take down Palestine on Pink Out night

·4 min read

Oct. 20—The Athens Hornets look to break a three-game losing streak in the annual Pink Out game at Bruce Field.

Athens (4-3 overall and 0-3 in District 9-4A, Division I) is scheduled to return to action Friday against the Palestine Wildcats. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.

"It will be a game Friday night that I think we have a great chance to win," Athens coach Zac Harrell said. "If we prepare well this week, they are a good team and we are going to have to play well to give ourselves a chance to win. It will be a great challenge and our message to the team is we are playing Palestine at Bruce Field Friday night. We have to be 1-0 on Friday night and 1-0 on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of this week."

With Friday being the annual Pink Out game, Harrell said it is more than just wearing pink during the game, but more about the overall meaning of the month.

"I think it is really important that when you play games like this that your kids understand why you are doing this, Harrell said. "It is to honor and bring awareness for those like we talk about that have fought hard situations in life that are not fair. Cancer is not fair and it is how people respond when they fight those things and that is what we are honoring. To me, it is not about how much pink I can put on my body and with our kids we give them some pink and tell them why we are doing this is to honor those people."

Palestine comes in with a record of 4-4 overall and 2-2 in District 9-4A, Division I play. The Wildcats currently hold the third playoff seed in the district with three games remaining.

Coach Lance Angel's team beat Henderson, 38-28 last week at Wildcat Stadium for their second straight district win.

"They play really hard and they are very physical," Harrell said. "They are going to run the Wing-T offense and they are about 80-to-20 run to pass offense. Defensively, they are an odd front with a 3-4 defense and they will play man behind it most of the time and try to put seven in the box. They will try to take away the run and they play physical and hard.

"Coach Angel is an unbelievable coach. He has had success everywhere he has been and has been in East Texas a lot. There are not many more people who I respect more than Lance Angel. He does this job the right way and treats kids and coaches the right way. I have a lot of respect for him and he is one of the coaches I look up to."

Senior quarterback Jerrod Walker leads the way at quarterback as he has thrown for 512 yards with five touchdowns and three interceptions. He has rushed for 12 yards and 7 TD's so far this season.

"He (Walker) is a good athlete and they are throwing it more than they have," Harrell said. "I think that is due to him. He can throw the ball and he throws it well down the field. They are going to take 5-to-8 shots down the field and try to get your secondary sucking up on the run and then throw it behind you. He has made some big plays on third down and we can't fall asleep."

The phrase of the week against Palestine is Relentless Effort. Harrell said the keys are wanting it more, be physical on defense, must block the odd front effectively, complete passes at over 70 percent and start fast.

In last week's 64-29 loss, Harrell said he was proud of how the team worked together even dealing with the adversity.

"I was proud of our kids fight. You know we dug a hole early and we came back and gave ourselves in the third quarter to still make it a game," Harrell said. "We had some unfortunate calls go against us, but my message to the team was that is life and sometimes life goes bad and it is out of our control. I was proud of them sticking together and I thought we played really well on offense for the most part."

NOTE: For more on this game, check out the Coaches Corner podcast on our social media. You can find it on Twitter @athens_sports.

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