An old adage was a tough lesson for the Crawfordsville Athenians Friday evening in their home opener against West Vigo.

“Games aren’t won, they are lost” is that resounding message.

Crawfordsville lost four of their five fumbles in the game, and committed seven penalties in the second half alone, most to negate positive yardage, in a 27-14 loss to the Vikings.

“You can’t start winning until you stop losing.” Athenian head coach Larry Getts said. “The things that make us lose showed up tonight.”

“I don’t think they were better than us, because we had our opportunities and just couldn’t get it done.” He continued. “You can’t miss tackles, put the ball on the ground and (fumble), and let big plays happen.”

The Athenians started the game well scoring on their first drive. They drove 49 yards in nine plays, taking 5:25 off the clock when Trent Johnson found Daulton Bridgewater for a 30-yard catch and run for six points. Jackson Albrecht’s extra point was good to make it 7-0.

They showed promise on their third drive, again with a short field. Taking over at their own 42, they drove the ball to the Viking 1-yard line. On a second down play, they fumbled and West Vigo recovered. It was their second lost fumble in the quarter.

A Viking 3-and-out gave Crawfordsville the ball back with 4:30 to go in the half. They would go on to score on a 19-yard pass from Johnson to a wide open Elliott Steward to take the 14-0 lead.

Crawfordsville dominated the first half leading in time of possession holding the ball for over 18 minutes. They gained 183 yards of total offense while holding the Vikings to 95 yards.

The second half was a different story for the blue and gold, however.

Forcing the Athenians to punt on their first drive, West Vigo drove 64 yards in just two plays to cut the lead to 14-7.

The Vikings (2-0) capitalized on Crawfordsville’s third lost fumble of the night, returning it down to the Athenian two and scoring on the first play to knot the game at 14. They added two more scores in the fourth quarter for the final margin.

“We gave them the ball game by giving them short fields with the fumbles.” Getts added. “We need to learn to play under pressure, because when it mounted, we folded.”

“If you want to win something big, you have to do it under pressure.” he continued. “The last two weeks we were good enough to win the football games, we just have to figure it out. It’s a matter of doing the right things at the right time.”

Johnson was 9-of-21 on the night with 152 yards passing. Stewart had five catches for 105 yards and a score. Johnson rushed for 70 yards, while LaHarren Saulsberry had 13 carries for 57 yards.

The Athenians (0-2) will open Sagamore Conference play at home Friday by hosting the Western Boone Stars, who enter at 2-0 after Friday’s 26-25 win over West Lafayette Harrison.