RHS falls to CullmanPublished 11:45am Friday, October 5, 2012
RUSSELLVILLE — Russellville’s quest to take a major step in the 5A, region 8 playoff race took a small hit Friday night as the Golden Tigers came up just inches short in a heartbreaking 21-20 overtime loss to Cullman.
The loss drops the Golden Tigers to 4-2 overall and 2-2 in region play. Next week’s opponent, Athens, lost to East Limestone Friday, however, leaving Russellville in good position to capture one of the final three-playoff spots in region 8.
Cullman scored on its first possession of overtime to take a 21-14 lead after the extra point.
Russellville would need only two plays in its lone possession of overtime before Bud Coleman plunged across the goal line to pull the Golden Tigers within one.
Following a Cullman timeout and an offside penalty, Golden Tiger head coach Michael Jackson opted to go for the two-point conversion and the win.
“Their offense had moved the ball pretty good there at the end of the game and we felt like we had a play that would win it,” Jackson said.
The Golden Tigers lined up with a loaded backfield with running back CJ Posey taking the snap. His pitch went just off the hands of Tyler Boyd resulting in a fumble and a Cullman win.
“It was there,” Posey said after the game.
“I think we would have scored. It hurts to put in all of this work and for it to end like that, but it shows how good we are and all we can do now is work to fix it.”
The Golden Tigers jumped out to an early lead when Posey weaved his way through the middle of the Bearcats defense for a 30-yard touchdown run with 49 seconds left in the first quarter. Adam Brown’s PAT gave Russellville a 7-0 lead.
The Golden Tigers quickly took advantage of a Cullman fumble and drove down for another score, this time a two-yard run by Posey. Brown’s PAT made it 14-0.
Cullman would pull to within seven at the half. Both defenses bent some, but didn’t break throughout the second half until the Bearcats used a 31 yard halfback pass to move inside the Golden Tiger ten with less than 10 minutes remaining in the fourth quarter. The Bearcats would tie the game with a short touchdown pass from Zac Crocker to Troy Forrest and the PAT.
The Russellville offense drove the ball deep into Bearcats territory at the end of regulation. A 27-yard pass from freshman quarterback Landon Smothers to Christopher Owens followed by a 15-yard run by Boyd, set the Golden Tigers up inside the Bearcats 20 yard line. But a 15-yard chop block penalty moved the offense back out to the 35-yard line. A 10-yard run by Boyd and an eight yard gain by Smothers got the offense back to the 17 yard line and set the stage for one last play.
With the ball at the right hash, Brown’s 34-yard field goal attempt sailed just inches wide as time expired in regulation.
“Our kids laid it on the line against a good football team and I couldn’t be more proud,” Jackson said.
“We’ve just got to fight through this and get ready for the next one.”
Russellville hosts Athens for homecoming next week.