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Golden Tigers fall to Deshler in rivalry game

The Russellville Golden Tigers and Deshler Tigers met for the 96th time in the history of the football series between the two schools Friday night. The rivalry has featured games that have been decided by eight points or less – and won by Russellville in each meeting since 2018. This time, however, the Tigers from Tuscumbia evened the overall series record at 46-46-4 with a 14-7 win.

The home victory by 4A Deshler improved their record on the season to 2-0, while the Golden Tigers dropped to 0-2.

The Russellville defense was able to keep DHS off the scoreboard until the third quarter, and the Golden Tigers held a 7-0 advantage at the half.

“Defensively, I thought we played really well,” said Russellville head coach John Ritter. “We had some untimely penalties, which kind of hurt us, and then offensively, every time we took two steps forward, we took three back. We’ve just got to do a better job as a unit.”

The Golden Tigers were without TJ King on the field during the game with Deshler. The senior receiver was on the sideline with the team Friday night during the contest but did not dress out.

Russellville’s Banks Langston scored the first touchdown after receiving a 30-yard pass from quarterback Harrison Burch. The extra-point kick by Louis Aguirre was good, and RHS led 7-0 with exactly six minutes remaining in the second quarter.

That ended the scoring for Russellville, with drives throughout the rest of the game falling prey to penalties and turnovers on downs.

Russellville will now look to start region play on a winning note, as the Golden Tigers host Lawrence County in the home opener Sept. 2.

“Making the playoffs, winning the region, hosting a playoff game – those are all attainable goals, and that’s what we have to understand,” Ritter said. “That’s what we have to hang our hat on moving forward. We’ve got to be 1-0 in this region.”

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