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Golden Tigers best Ardmore

By Brannon King for the FCT

The Russellville Golden Tigers went on the road Friday night for only the third time this season and came away with a 40-17 win against the Ardmore Tigers.

Russellville (7-2, 6-1) used a fast start to jump out to a quick 20-0 first quarter lead. The Golden Tigers outscored Ardmore 13-0 in the second half, and the defense held AHS scoreless in the first and fourth quarters.

Russellville quarterback Payton Nichols threw three touchdown passes while only playing the first three quarters of the game because of the big RHS lead. Logan Jones scored two touchdowns for Russellville, one on a long run and the other on a kickoff return.

“I’m proud of the guys. They did a great job preparing,” Russellville Head Coach Mark Heaton said of his team. “We gave up a couple of crucial third downs on defense and offensively we missed a couple of execution errors. So we’ve got some things that we’ve got to correct, but the guys came out and played well and got it done.”

The Russellville defense stopped Ardmore’s first drive of the game, and then Colin Garrison set the offense up with good field position with a long punt return. It only took a couple of plays for RHS to score. Nichols threw to Marvin Betancourt for an 11-yard TD pass, and then Betancourt added the PAT kick.

Ardmore’s next drive ended when RHS stopped a pass on fourth down. The next Russellville possession again finished with a TD pass. This time, Nichols found Garrison for a 19-yard score to put the Golden Tigers up 13-0.

Ardmore only had the ball for two plays until Russellville’s Roman Cortez recovered a fumble. On the next play, Jones took a handoff and went 46 yards for a touchdown. The Betancourt extra point put RHS up 20-0 with 2:12 remaining in the first quarter.

AHS then went on a 14-play drive to score their first points of the game, with a 32-yard field goal.

After Russellville threw three incompletions, Ardmore got the ball back and went on another scoring drive. On a five-yard carry with less than a minute remaining in the first half, and the extra point kick good, Ardmore narrowed the score gap to 20-10.

Russellville’s Zaye Boyd answered right back. The sophomore running back scored on a 65-yard touchdown run, and the Betancourt extra point put RHS up 27-10 at the half.

Russellville’s Logan Jones took the second half kickoff all the way back for an exciting 80-yard score to put RHS up 34-10. Ardmore then went on a seven-play scoring drive that featured all runs, and Lay found the end zone again, this time from 30 yards out.

Russellville came right back and used a fake punt by Nichols and a TD pass from the senior quarterback to Nate Franklin to score again with 3:10 left in the third quarter.

The RHS defense finished the game by shutting out the Ardmore Tigers in the fourth quarter with the help of a Kyle Tidwell interception to end a scoring threat and a big hit on a sack by Devin Buckhalter to end the game.

The Golden Tigers will travel to Colbert County next to take on the Indians in Leighton to finish up the regular season before starting the Class 5A playoffs.