RHS hosts 7-on-7 competition day

By Brannon King / For the FCT

A large group of prep football players and coaches took advantage of the opportunity to prepare for the upcoming season by participating in a competition day held at the stadium and practice field of Russellville High School July 26.

The Golden Tigers and 20 visiting squads had a full day of 7-on-7 contests, and linemen were also involved as they sharpened their skills by going through drills of their own.

The 7-on-7 contests were 20 minutes in length with a running clock, and although the competition was fierce, no score was kept during the games. Coaches said the day served as a chance for players to improve their passing games on offense and for defenses to work on covering passes and recognizing routes.

“I thought it was a great day,” said Russellville head coach John Ritter. “The kids competed, and we had 950 of them on campus and 150 coaches, so it was a very large event.”

The Golden Tigers were able to play in seven 7-on-7 games, and the team improved as the day went along.

In game one against Good Hope, Russellville struggled and gave up three touchdowns on defense while throwing three interceptions on offense.

Game two for RHS was against the Clements Colts, and the Golden Tigers played with good focus and attention to detail, dominating the contest from start to finish.

Clements had possession first, and the drive stalled with no touchdown. Russellville then took the ball, and senior quarterback Lucas McNutt completed four of five passes on the drive, including a TD pass to Rowe Gallagher.

The next Clements drive ended when Nathan Brockway intercepted a pass.

Russellville finished up the game with TD passes from Gabe Amick to Cole Barnett, McNutt to Theron Pounders and Jacob Davis to Bryant Hubbert.

In game three of the day Russellville faced Colbert County, and the two teams scored two touchdowns apiece.

The Indians needed only one snap to start the game’s scoring before the Golden Tigers answered on their first drive. McNutt connected on a good throw and catch with Gallagher for a long first TD of the game for RHS.

After the Indians turned the ball over on downs, McNutt and Gallagher again teamed up for a Russellville score.

The game went down to the final seconds as CCHS scored a late TD, and Russellville tried for a touchdown as time expired, but a McNutt pass to Devin Buckhalter went just off his fingertips.

Carbon Hill was next up for Russellville, and it took only one play for the Bulldogs to score. Two plays later, Russellville’s McNutt found Buckhalter for a deep TD pass over the middle of the field. Russellville’s second drive ended in another McNutt to Buckhalter score, as the talented senior receiver caught a pass in the corner of the end zone.

Another one-play drive followed for Carbon Hill, and then McNutt went to work by teaming up with Austin Ashley for three straight completions before finding Gallagher for a score.

The Russellville defense then took over with interceptions by Brooks Scott, Theron Pounders and Wylie Boyd.

The Golden Tigers faced off against J.B. Pennington in the next game for RHS. Donald Ramson picked off a Pennington pass to start the contest, but then the Tigers from Blountsville scored on two consecutive possessions to follow. Russellville picked up a McNutt to Buckhalter TD on a corner route on the last RHS scoring drive of the game.

The final two contests of the day for Russellville came against Hanceville and Ardmore. The Russellville defense held Hanceville scoreless with the help of interceptions by Ashaad Williams and Wylie Boyd. Lucas McNutt had touchdown passes to Buckhalter and Barnett on offense for RHS against Hanceville.

Versus Ardmore, RHS had a big game from McNutt, Gallagher and Buckhalter, who put on a show by making a leaping catch over an Ardmore defender for a TD. Brooks Scott picked up an interception to preserve the shutout on defense for Russellville.

“I love what I saw out of our guys,” said Ritter. “After that first game, we kind of challenged them to compete and get after it, and when we did that, we had a good day. We’re not talented enough to just go through the motions.”

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