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RHS falters in jamboree

By Brannon King / For the FCT

The Russellville Golden Tigers got the 2018 football season started with a pre-season jamboree game against the East Limestone Indians Friday night at RHS. New Russellville head coach John Ritter’s team of Golden Tigers fell to the Indians by a 31-7 final score.

During first-half action, Russellville only trailed by a 10-0 score when the varsity Golden Tigers were seeing playing time.

“I thought the first half went well,” Ritter said. “With our starters against their starters, it was 10-0. We were inside the five and we fumble, and we get inside the 15 and don’t score. If we take care of what we’re supposed to take care of, we go into the half and it’s 14-10 with our varsity guys.”

Ritter said he saw a lot of bright spots for his team during the game – and a lot of things to work on going into the regular season opener Aug. 31, which will be at home against rival Deshler.

Having a jamboree game in Week 0 could be beneficial for RHS, in that it can serve as a chance to face an opponent in a test session, to see where the team stands early on before the games start to count. Class 4A Deshler will be coming to Russellville with a 0-1 record after dropping a regular season game at home to 6A Muscle Shoals by a 31-0 score Thursday night.

The Russellville-East Limestone jamboree game started with an 11-play East touchdown drive that took up nearly half of the first quarter. The possession consisted of all running plays by quarterback Andrew Parris and running back Zach Cosby. The Indians only attempted four passes in the game, with two coming in the first half. Cosby scored the first East Limestone TD on a six-yard run.

The first Russellville drive showed promise, as the Golden Tigers marched down the field on a 12-play drive of their own. Lucas McNutt got the start at quarterback, and he teamed up with Devin Buckhalter and Zaye Boyd to move the ball down to the Indians’ six-yard-line. Later, a fumble on a first-down play put an end to the scoring threat.

The Indians finished their second possession with a 30-yard field goal to cap a 10-play scoring drive, going to 10-0 with 8:09 to go in the first half. Russellville’s starters came back after the score with a drive that featured a pass completion from McNutt to Buckhalter and also a couple of passes from McNutt to Cole Barnett. The drive came to an end with an incomplete pass on a fourth-down play.

Russellville’s only points of the night were scored on the Golden Tigers’ final possession of the game. Jacob Davis scored from three yards out on a quarterback keeper, and Kenner Perez added the extra point with 4:26 remaining in the fourth quarter.

Ninth-grader Airreon “Boots” McCulloch picked up 54 rushing yards during the scoring drive on five carries, including a 33-yard run, to get the ball deep into East Limestone territory.

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