SHUTOUT

By Slade Gilmer

For the FCT

 

Russellville used an explosive offense and a suffocating defense to earn a dominating 52-0 win over the homestanding Ardmore Tigers Sept. 18.

The Golden Tiger offense scored on five of their six first-half possessions, as well as the first two of the second half, while keeping Ardmore from earning a first down until late in the third stanza – by which point the game was well in hand and the Russellville reserves were on the field.

The Golden Tigers got on the board after shutting down the Ardmore offense. A 65-yard drive was capped with a 26-yard pass from Payton Nichols to Deyon Hill to make the score 7-0. Russellville extended the lead on a four-play, 35-yard drive that culminated in a 10-yard Hill touchdown run that made the score 14-0.

The Golden Tigers then got into the endzone on a fourth-down pass from Nichols to Colin Garrison, this from six yards out, to push the lead out to 21-0. After another three-and-out from the Russellville defense, the Golden Tiger offense got to work again. A 26-yard completion on third down to Garrison extended the drive, and Hill scored his third touchdown of the first half on a 10-yard reception to make the score 28-0.

Russellville got the ball one last time before halftime, and they made it count as Nichols found Garrison deep for a 60-yard touchdown to make the halftime score 35-0.

Russellville wasted little time getting on the scoreboard in the second half, as Nichols faked a punt, made a nifty move in the open field and raced 54 yards for a Golden Tiger touchdown. Marvin Betancourt’s extra-point made the score 42-0. After another Ardmore punt, Russellville drove down the field, with Hill scoring his fourth touchdown of the night on a 16-yard catch to make the score 49-0.

The Golden Tiger reserves played most of the rest of the way, with backup quarterback Lucas McNutt leading a drive that ended with a 26-yard Betancourt field goal to make the score 52-0.

Ardmore had one last drive to try and get on the board, but Bruce Ambrosio forced a fumble deep in Golden Tiger territory and sealed Russellville’s first shutout since a 35-0 win over West Point in 2013.

The 4th-ranked Golden Tigers moved to 4-0 and 3-0 in Class 5A, Region 8 with the win, while Ardmore dropped to 1-3 and 0-3 in region play. The Golden Tigers will travel to Harvest Sept. 25 as they take on the Class 7A Sparkman Senators. Russellville defeated Sparkman 42-24 last season in the only meeting between the two schools.

 

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