Golden Tigers fall in double OT

HUNTSVILLE — Russellville got off to another slow start Thursday night and once again it cost the Golden Tigers as they fell to 2-4 overall and 2-2 in region play with a 28-25 loss to J.O. Johnson in double overtime.

Russellville had an opportunity to win at the end of regulation, but Jose Betancourt’s 28-yard field goal attempt in the closing seconds sailed wide.

“Johnson played hard and we didn’t play well in the first half,” said Russellville coach Michael Jackson. “We didn’t block well in the first half. We did in the second half and we moved the ball.”

Johnson scored on its opening drive of the game, converting three fourth-down plays to take a 7-0 advantage.

Late in the second quarter Russellville had its best starting field position up to that point when a bad snap by Johnson on a punt attempt put the Golden Tigers in business at the Jaguars 41-yard line. Russellville picked up a pair of first downs, but were unable to convert on a fourth-down play and turned the ball over on downs at the Johnson 19-yard line.

The defense stopped the Jaguars, but Russellville lost yardage on both plays of the ensuing possession before halftime.

Jalen Scott came up with a big play for the Golden Tigers early in the third quarter when he recovered a Johnson fumble. Devan Parker raced for a 32-yard touchdown run on the first play of the drive and Betancourt’s kick tied the game 7-7.

Moments later Johnson answered when the quarterback broke lose on a long touchdown run to reclaim the lead.

Tyler Boyd tied the game with a 51-yard touchdown run with 6:44 remaining in the game. Russellville’s Lucas Witt recovered a Johnson fumble on the next drive, but the Golden Tigers fumbled on the first play of the drive and the Jaguars recovered on the Russellville 20-yard line.

The Russellville defense got a stop three plays later when Jordan Gist recovered a fumble and returned it to the Golden Tiger 33-yard line to set up a potential game winning drive with 2:15 remaining in the game.

The Golden Tigers moved down the field with ease, reaching the Johnson 11-yard line with 5.2 seconds remaining. That is when Betancourt’s kick missed, sending the game into overtime.

Johnson scored on a 1-yard run then added a 2-point conversion to take a 22-14 lead.

Russellville answered when Boyd plunged in from the 1-yard line moments later. Parker scored on a run play on the 2-point conversion attempt to send the game to a second overtime.

The Golden Tigers got the ball first in the second overtime and moved the ball four yards on three plays before sending Betancourt in to kick a 23-yard field goal. This time his kick was true, giving Russellville a 25-22 lead.

Johnson’s possession in the second overtime stalled, but Russellville was penalized for pass interference on third down. Johnson took advantage of the penalty, driving to the 1-yard line. The Russellville defense got stops on second and third down, but the Jaguars were able to punch through and pick up the winning score on the fourth-down play.

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