Russellville Middle School wins another conference football championship
The Russellville Middle School football program has a long history of success, and the 2022 team recently added another Northwest Alabama Conference championship to the list of accomplishments.
RMS defeated Ardmore 30-6 on the road in the championship game of the conference playoffs after taking down Priceville at home by a 30-22 score in the semifinals.
A large number of Golden Tiger supporters were in attendance for the play-off games, and they were treated to winning football by a group of players and coaches who put in the work and preparation needed to bring home another trophy.
In the title game, the Russellville seventh- and eighth-graders built on an 8-0 lead at the half and pulled away during the final two quarters for the decisive victory.
Tarus Davis Jr. had a big game, rushing for 206 yards and three touchdowns. RMS quarterback Tripp Cleveland was also a standout for the Tigers, completing 13 of 15 passes for 136 yards and a TD.
On the defensive side of the ball, Daniel Aycock had several tackles behind the line of scrimmage and added a fumble recovery.
Also making big plays for head coach Corey Flanagan’s team were Hugo Francisco Perez, Chase Phifer and Karson Fletcher.
Flanagan’s RMS football teams have now won the conference championship during both of his seasons as head coach.
“I’m so proud of this program – that includes players and coaches,” he said. “These guys really put in a tremendous amount of work and preparation to be successful. To be able to play in a conference and compete for a championship is special.”
The players and coaches work hard on and off the field, and the team spends time watching film, working out in the weight room and practicing to prepare for games.
“We have some awesome kids at RMS,” Flanagan said. “I had little-to-no discipline problems for the entire season.
“We have a great group of kids who really bought in and represented Russellville football in a first-class way on and off the field. That is what I’m most proud of.”
In the semifinal game versus Priceville, RMS led 14-0 at the end of the first quarter with the help of a fumble recovery by Keifer Hallmark; a 28-yard touchdown pass from Cleveland to Fletcher; and a 76-yard TD run by Davis. That was followed by a successful two-point conversion pass from Fletcher to Cleveland in a reversal of roles.
Russellville would grow the lead to 22-0 in the second period on a 25-yard touchdown pass from Cleveland to Phifer and a successful two-point conversion run by Hallmark.
The second half scoring by RMS consisted of a 13-yard Cleveland-to-Phifer TD pass and a two-point conversion by the duo to make the score 30-0 with 4:45 remaining in the third period.
Priceville would then return the ensuing kickoff for a touchdown and score two more long TDs on rushing plays to make the game close down the stretch.