RHS defeats East LimestonePublished 2:48pm Monday, September 17, 2012
By: Slade Gilmer
For the FCT
RUSSELLVILLE — A year after Russellville fell to East Limestone 37-28, the Golden Tigers exacted revenge with a dominant 37-14 win over the Indians at Russellville Stadium on Friday, Sept. 14.
A week after being shut out and held to 128 yards by Muscle Shoals, the Golden Tigers cranked out 445 yards — with 363 on the ground — en route to the key Class 5A, Region 8 victory.
“This game was a big confidence boost for our guys,” said Russellville head coach Michael Jackson. “It was a big win to come out here and beat a good, hard-nosed East Limestone team, and I think our seniors showed excellent leadership throughout the week and tonight.”
After the two teams exchanged punts on their respective opening drives, the Golden Tiger offense cranked out 61 yards on 14 plays, with the last four being a Bud Coleman touchdown run to take a 7-0 lead.
On East Limestone’s next possession, two consecutive intentional grounding penalties pushed the ball back to the Indian four-yard line. On the next play, Russellville freshman Austin Kitterman rushed into the backfield and dragged down the Indian runningback in the end zone for a safety, pushing the lead to 9-0.
The Golden Tiger offense reached East Limestone territory on the next drive, but a fumble ended that drive. However, after a touchback and personal foul penalty on an Indian punt gave Russellville the ball at its own 35, Tyler Boyd outraced the Indian defense for a 65-yard touchdown run to give the Golden Tigers a 16-0 lead.
The East Limestone offense fought back, converting a fourth-and-four to move the ball to the Golden Tiger 26. A pass interference call moved the ball to the 13, where the Indians used four runs—the last a three-yard quarterback keeper by Matthew Franks–to score and cut the Russellville lead to 16-7.
A late fumble kept the Golden Tigers out of the end zone before halftime.
East Limestone drove to the Russellville 32 on the first drive of the second half, but the Golden Tiger defense held on downs. Despite three consecutive runs being called back for holding, the Golden Tigers found the end zone when Boyd spun off two Indian defenders and found his way into the end zone on a 15-yard carry to make the score 23-7
After forcing a three-and-out, the Russellville ground attack struck quickly, as Coleman ran for 60 yards and a touchdown to make the score 30-7.
After another three-and-out, Russellville drove for another touchdown, this one a one-yard run by C.J Posey. The touchdown was set up by a 43-yard run by quarterback Landon Smothers, who juked several Indians before being brought down at the one.
East Limestone scored with 12.4 seconds left in the game, the drive culminating on a one-yard touchdown run by Shaiquille Eichelberger to make the final score 37-14.
“At times tonight, we played really well,” said Jackson. “We did have some problems with penalties and turnovers, but we did an excellent job bouncing back.”
Boyd led the Golden Tigers with 165 yards rushing on 11 carries. Coleman added 70 on four carries, while Smothers had 62 on the ground while completing all six of his passes for 78 yards. Posey had 12 yards rushing on four carries, with two receptions for 53 yards and completing one for four yards.
The Golden Tigers (2-1, 1-1) will be in action on Thursday night against the West Point Warriors in another Class 5A, Region 8 game. The game will be televised by WABM-TV, Channel 68, out of Birmingham.
“We’re excited for the opportunity to play on television next week,” Jackson said. “We want to keep the momentum from this game going into next week.”