RHS reaches region perfection again

The Russellville Golden Tigers celebrated senior night with a 49-14 football win over the Lee-Huntsville Generals Thursday.

With the victory, RHS completed the region sweep for the second-straight season with a 6-0 record. The Golden Tigers will be a No. 1 seed in the upcoming Class 5A playoffs.

The Golden Tigers improved their mark on the season to 8-1 and are currently ranked No. 8 in 5A, with a trip to Class 4A No. 1 Madison Academy on the slate for Oct. 28 to wrap up the regular season.

“This group has been with us for four years, and they’re a special group,” said Russellville head coach John Ritter, describing his seniors. “They understand what we expect. They bring their hard hat to work every day, and they are a special group of kids.”

It took a little while Thursday for the Russellville team to get things going their way. The first RHS possession of the contest ended with a fumble, and the Generals were first to score with a 10-yard touchdown pass coming with 8:37 remaining in the opening quarter.

The Golden Tigers then put together a long scoring drive that evened the score at 7-7. Versatile senior Nathan Brockway took a handoff and found the end zone from a yard out.

Earlier in the week, Brockway was named to the North-South All Star football roster. Ritter will also be a part of the Dec. 17 game in Mobile as a member of the coaching staff.

RHS took a 14-7 lead with 9:25 to go in the first half when TJ King returned a Lee punt 80 yards for a touchdown. After another punt by the Generals, Russellville went to work on offense again. A Gabe Amick-to-Boots McCulloch 38-yard TD pass put the Golden Tigers back into the end zone with 4:26 left before the half.

Lee pulled to within a touchdown just before the end of the second quarter with a 29-yard throw-and-catch for a score to make it 21-14 at the break.

Russellville grew the lead to 28-14 with 3:44 remaining in the third period when Conner Warhurst ran for a 3-yard touchdown after a snap on a Lee punt attempt sailed over the head of the kicker to give the Golden Tigers the ball at the Generals’ 15-yard-line.

McCulloch scored his second TD of the game on the second play of the fourth quarter on an 11-yard run.

The next RHS possession also lasted two plays and was capped by a 62-yard touchdown run by Warhurst.

Malachi Duncan scored the final touchdown of the contest with 1:54 to go in the game on a 45-yard carry, and Manny Martinez made his seventh extra-point kick of the night to finish the scoring.

The Golden Tigers will face a strong opponent in the next game in taking on the Mustangs of Madison Academy. “It’s a great way to segue into the playoffs, playing the No. 1 team in 4A,” Ritter said. “Coach Godsey does a phenomenal job, so it will be a great game if we do our part.”

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