Golden Tigers cruise past Parker into quarters

By Staff
Jonathan Willis FCT Staff Writer
RUSSELLVILLE - Friday night's second round playoff game between Russellville and Parker was supposed to feature both a great offense and a great defense.
It lived up to the billing. Except both were wearing the same color jerseys.
The top-ranked Golden Tigers' high-powered offense scored over half of the amount of points that the Thundering Herd had given up all season and cruised to a 46-21 win at Tiger Stadium.
Entering Friday, Parker's speed and athleticism on defense had limited its opponents to 75 points all season, an average of 6.8 per game.
The Golden Tiger offense clicked on all cylinders all night, but it was the defense that dominated the game early on and allowed the offense to go to work, building a 46-0 lead before the Herd was able to score 21 fourth-quarter points against Russellville's younger defensive players.
Russellville took over on offense with 5:46 to go in the first quarter and used a 20-play, 77-yard drive to move the ball to the Parker one-yard line before turning it over on downs.
Bowling tackled Parker's Ulysses Banks in the end zone for a safety and a 2-0 lead with 8:34 left in the second quarter.
It didn't take long after that for the Golden Tiger offense to get rolling.
Quarterback Jeremy Helms broke several tackles on Russellville's first play from scrimmage and found freshman fullback Mike Abernathy open in the flat, who then took it 51 yards for the score.
The two-point conversion failed and Russellville lead 8-0 with 8:12 to go in the half.
Russellville's next two possessions basically put the game out of hand at the half.
Helms capped off a 10-play, 92 yard-drive with a 23-yard touchdown run. Swinney's PAT made it 15-0 with 2:05 left in the half.
Following a Parker three-and-out, Russellville went 74 yards in six plays for another score with two seconds to play before intermission on an 18-yard touchdown pass from Helms to Maurice McCulloch.
Swinney's PAT made it 22-0 at the half.
Helms finished the night 19-of-32 for 272 yards and four touchdowns.
McCulloch, who finished with two touchdown receptions, said that the Tigers' goal was to play mistake-free.
The Golden Tiger offense opened the second half with two more quick touchdown passes from Helms, the first to McCulloch with 9:00 left in the third quarter and one more to Nick Woods with 4:14 to in the quarter to make it 36-0.
The defense added a score on Parker's next possession when Rodney Suggs returned an interception 58 yards for a touchdown.
The Golden Tigers travel to New Market next Friday to take on the Buckhorn Bucks, who are coached by former Russellville player and long-time assistant coach Michael Jackson.

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