Russellville falls to Florence

Russellville’s defense was able to bend but not break for three quarters against Florence Friday night. By the time the fourth quarter rolled around, the Falcons used their speed and athleticism to break the game open, downing the Golden Tigers 35-18.

“I was excited about what (our team) did for three quarters,” Russellville coach Michael Jackson said. “They kind of wore us down in the fourth quarter.”

Florence’s Beniquez Brown rushed for more than 100 yards in the first half, but the Falcons (7-3) could only manage six points during that time.

Devan Parker’s 4-yard touchdown run late in the second quarter sent the game into halftime tied 6-6.

Florence opened the second half with a 49-yard touchdown run and a 2-point conversion to take a 14-6 advantage.

Russellville (5-5) quickly answered with a 4-yard run by Parker. The 2-point conversion failed, leaving the Falcons clinging to a slim lead.

The Golden Tiger defense stepped up on the ensuing drive and forced a Florence turnover at the Falcon 31-yard line. Russellville wasted little time driving the 31 yards and took the lead when Tyler Boyd finished the drive with a 12-yard touchdown run. The Golden Tigers attempted another 2-point conversion, but the run failed.

Russellville’s 18-14 advantage did not last long. Florence regained the lead on a 3-yard run on a fourth-down play to take a 21-18 lead.

Russellville’s next drive stalled at their own 39-yard line and the Golden Tigers turned the ball over on downs. Florence with touchdown runs of 8 and 53 yards by Brown.

Despite the loss, Jackson said there were several positives his team could take from the loss as they prepare for next week’s playoff game against Center Point.

“I am hoping that gives us confidence and an edge,” Jackson said. “(Florence) is fast and athletic. What we saw prepares us for next week.”

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