Russellville loses battle of the Tigers

By Brannon King

For the FCT 

The Russellville Golden Tigers (4-6, 3-4) ended the season Friday with a 35-7 loss to the Fayette County Tigers (9-1, 7-0) on senior night.

The Golden Tigers went to halftime with the score tied at 7-7, but couldn’t get things to go their way in the second half.

Russellville found the end zone for the only time in the game on their first drive of the night.

RHS quarterback Zack Garrison connected with Reed Smith for a 47-yard TD pass to get the Golden Tigers’ only touchdown.  Clay McNatt added the extra point to give Russellville the early 7-0 lead.

Fayette County would even the score with 10:56 to go in the second quarter when Jerkyle Nalls scored on a 15-yard TD run followed by a John Smith extra point.

The next Fayette County drive came to an end when Grant Eason made a catch but fumbled and Russellville’s Austin Kitterman recovered.

The Golden Tigers would then drive deep into Fayette County territory on a 21-yard run by Deyon Hill. Russellville got as far as the Fayette County 9-yard-line, but on Hill’s fifth-straight carry, he was hit hard by a Tiger defender and fumbled the ball to Malik Sheppard of Fayette County.

Fayette County then kept the ball for six plays until punting to Russellville’s Kitterman who ran the ball to the Fayette 27-yard-line.

Russellville managed to get the ball to the Fayette 22-yard-line for a third down when Zack Garrison was tackled back on the 34-yard-line making the following McNatt field goal attempt 51-yards. The try came up well short as the half ended.

Fayette County came out passing in the second half and the strategy paid off when Jatevin Madison came down with a tremendous 37-yard catch despite being covered by Russellville defenders on third and eighteen.

FCHS quarterback Drew Guy would then run it in from the 1-yard-line for a touchdown. John Smith added the PAT giving Fayette County a 14-7 lead.

Fayette County then followed with a successful onsides kick.

The Tigers were not able to turn the momentum into points when Christopher Swanigan reached for the endzone but lost the ball and Judd Ward recovered for Russellville.

Shortly after, Clay McNatt faked a punt and went 34-yards down the sideline for a Russellville first down.

The Golden Tigers then failed to convert after four Deyon Hill runs, the last coming on fourth down.

Fayette County then put together another scoring drive capped off by a 10-yard TD run by Jerkyle Nalls. The Smith PAT was good and the Tigers led, 21-7.

The Tigers added another touchdown when Jatevin Madison took the snap and passed to Hunter Voegele on fourth and four.  Smith made the PAT making the score 28-7.

Russellville then put together a long drive alternating runs and passes by Payton Nichols. However, the drive came to an end when Jatevin Madison picked off Nichols and raced almost the length of the field for a TD. The PAT was good making the score 35-7.

Russellville had trouble with the athleticism of the Fayette County team, especially Jatevin Madison.

“Against a team like that, you’ve got to put them away,” Russellville head coach Michael Jackson said after the game.

“You’ve got to be able to run the football and maintain the football because they’re going to make their plays in the open field and that’s kind of what the game came down to.”

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