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Russellville crushes Ardmore for Homecoming victory

The Russellville Golden Tigers hosted Ardmore Friday night for the Homecoming football game and dominated on the field from start to finish for a 51-0 victory.

With the win, the No. 8 in Class 5A Golden Tigers improved their record to 6-1 on the season and 4-0 in Region 8. The loss for Ardmore was the Tigers’ first of the season and it leaves RHS and the Golden Tigers’ next opponent, East Limestone (4-3, 4-0) tied atop the region standings.

The two schools are scheduled to meet in Russellville’s next game, Oct. 15 at East.

After forcing a punt on Ardmore’s first possession of the game, Russellville’s offense needed only one play to find the end zone. TJ King scored on a 78-yard touchdown run. The Manny Martinez point-after kick was good, and it gave RHS the 7-0 first quarter lead.

The Russellville defense made a couple of big plays to end the next Ardmore possession. A sack by Nathan Brockway was followed on the next play by an interception by Grayson Thorpe.

Later in the first period, RHS found the end zone again when Boots McCulloch ran 23 yards for a score to put the Golden Tigers up 14-0.

On the second play of the second quarter, RHS grew that lead to 21-0 when Gabe Amick connected with King for a 36-yard touchdown pass. Russellville’s next score came with 5:42 to go in the first half when offensive lineman Grayson Murray recovered a McCulloch fumble that bounced into the end zone for a touchdown. The Golden Tigers were able to add more points with 1:09 to go in the second quarter when McCulloch took a handoff and went 22 yards for a TD that put RHS up 35-0 at the half.

The two teams played a scoreless third period until Conner Warhurst went 10 yards on a rushing play for a touchdown with 1:13 remaining in the quarter that was followed by Louis Aguirre’s first of two successful extra-point kicks in the game.

Early in the fourth, a snap went over the head of the AHS punter, resulting in a safety to make the score 44-0.

Demontae Thornton scored the final touchdown of the night on a 9-yard run with 2:45 remaining in the contest.

Russellville head coach John Ritter said a great week of practice led into the game, coming after the team’s first loss of the season to Hartselle.

“I thought we were very focused, and I thought we were where we needed to be mentally,” he said. “We played Hartselle to gauge where our program was, but we also played Hartselle to bloody our nose – and they did that pretty solidly in the second half.

“It’s a credit to our 20 seniors and a credit to our underclassmen who stayed focused this week,” Ritter added, “and came out on Homecoming with all the distractions and everything else that was going on and got a great win.”