RHS coasts by EtowahPublished 11:49pm Friday, November 9, 2012
For the FCT
ATTALLA — The Russellville Golden Tigers used a pair of defensive touchdowns and several big plays on offense in a thorough 49-6 domination of Class 5A, Region 7’s second-seeded Etowah Blue Devils on Friday, Nov. 9, at James Glover Stadium in Attalla.
According to Golden Tiger head coach Michael Jackson, Russellville was hoping to jump on the homestanding Blue Devils early.
“We had noticed that they had struggled the last couple of weeks (including a 19-6 loss to Class 3A Glencoe last Thursday), and we thought if we could jump on them early, we could make it easier to play here.”
The Blue Devils won the toss and elected to receive. After an early first-down, the Golden Tiger defense stiffened, forcing a third down. On that play, the Blue Devil running back fumbled and Russellville linebacker Oscar Graham took it 55 yards for a touchdown. Adam Brown’s extra-point made it 7-0.
The two teams exchanged punts before Russellville took over on its own 17. Three plays later, C.J. Posey took a handoff and raced 70 yards for a touchdown. The extra-point made the score 14-0.
Etowah moved the ball deep into Russellville territory on its ensuing drive, but Jordan Gist picked off a pass in the end zone and returned it to the Blue Devil 30.
The Golden Tigers fumbled two plays later, but once again the Blue Devils returned the favor. This time, Kaelan Bonds scooped the fumble and took off 60 yards for Russellville’s second defensive touchdown of the night.
After another Blue Devil punt, the Golden Tigers got another big play from the offense. On second-and-7, Tyler Boyd took a handoff and raced 68 yards for another touchdown, this time making the score 28-0.
On the ensuing kickoff, the Etowah return man was drilled and fumbled, with Brown recovering. Seven plays later—with the big play being a Landon Smothers-to-Luke Smothers 25-yard pass where Luke went over a Blue Devil defender to haul in the pass—Bud Coleman took the ball in from six yards out to make the score 35-0 at halftime.
Russellville wasted little time in the second half getting back on the scoreboard, as the Golden Tigers used just six plays to cover 57 yards. Coleman powered in for his second touchdown of the night, making the score 42-0.
After a three-and-out from the Russellville defense, the Golden Tigers got their final scoring play of the night. A swing pass from Landon Smothers to Coleman went for 68 yards and a touchdown. The extra-point made the score 49-0. The Golden Tiger reserves played most of the second half, with the Golden Tigers forcing two more turnovers in the second half, forcing six on the night.
“We want to be the most physical team in the state,” said Jackson. “We still work out and work hard, and the defense takes heart to that. We play hard and we’re a contact defense, and when you do that, you can force turnovers. Tonight was a good example of that.”
The Golden Tigers rushed for 284 yards on the night, with Landon Smothers going six-for-six for 113 yards and a touchdown. Coleman had 77 yards on the night and three touchdowns. Boyd had 111 yards rushing and Posey had 73. The Golden Tiger defense held Etowah to 294 yards of total offense, with many of those yards coming with the reserves in the game.
Russellville was among the four Region 8 teams that swept 5A, Region 7. Top-ranked and top-seeded Muscle Shoals defeated Boaz 41-7, second-seeded Cullman hammered Arab 49-14, and fourth-seeded Hartselle stunned Fort Payne 14-6.
The Golden Tigers (9-2) will host 11-0 McAdory next Friday night at Russellville Golden Tiger Stadium in the second round of the playoffs. Etowah’s season ends at 7-4.