• 81°
franklin county times

RHS edges Deshler in 2OT

By Staff
Jason Cannon, Franklin County Times
TUSCUMBIA – It took a little longer than normal – almost an hour to be exact – but first year coach Doug Goodwin got his first win as Russellville's head football coach.
If Goodwin was looking to make some memories in his coaching debut Friday night, he left with a scrapbook full in a 34-28, double-overtime win over Deshler.
What would later become an epic power struggle, started off well for Goodwin's Golden Tigers squad.
Deshler took the opening kickoff to midfield, but an interception by Russellville linebacker Torey Baird killed the drive with the Tigers knocking on the red zone.
But the Golden Tigers couldn't turn their good fortune into points and Deshler took an early lead on a 48-yard drive, capped by a Dominique King. score on fourth-and-short.
The Golden Tigers clawed back on their next series, and barely took a minute for Michael Abernathy (24 carries for 204 yards and 3 TDs) to find pay dirt from 61-yards out.
Deshler jumped back out front, 14-7, on a Chase Blackburn quarterback sneak late in the second quarter.
With Deshler still clinging to the lead, Cory Trapp (8-10, 129 yards) found Caleb Mitchell streaking down the field for a 70-yard touchdown pass as time expired in the first half to knot the score at 14 all as the teams headed to the locker room.
Russellville roared into the third quarter with momentum on their side and marched the ball more than 60 yards in 11 plays on the opening drive.
The series, which ate more than 5 minutes off the clock, came to an end on a 6-yard touchdown run by Abernathy that put the Golden Tigers up 21-14.
Russellville's taste of the lead wouldn't last long. Just before the end of the third quarter, the Tigers were able to capitalize on a bad snap on a Russellville punt and punched the ball in the end zone from 5 yards out to tie the game.
With momentum now wearing a Deshler uniform, the Tigers forced a fumble on Russellville's next series and turned that into another seven points to take a 28-21 lead.
Russellville took the ensuing kickoff down to the Deshler 35-yard line, but another offensive fumble killed one of the Golden Tigers' most promising drives of the night.
However, the Russellville defense held strong and took the ball away on downs with Deshler just 15 yards away from another score.
The biggest thanks the Russellville offense could give the defensive unit was to punch the ball into the end zone to tie the game. With 2:10 left in the fourth, Abernathy found daylight for the third time to tie the game at 28-28 and force the game into overtime.
The two Tiger teams exchanged turnovers in the first overtime, pushing the game to OT number two, still tied at 28.
The Golden Tiger defense didn't give up an inch on Deshler's opening drive in the second overtime, and it was up to the offense to spoil Deshler's season opener.
On the opening play, Abernathy took the hand off from Trapp but pulled up to pass and threw to Nate McAlister at the 1-yard line.
The halfback pass – a play Goodwin said he has turned to in the past – caught even the most diehard Golden Tiger fans by surprise.
"We hadn't even practiced it yet in Russellville," he said.
Evan Fergerson (five carries for 11 yards and 1 TD) took over from there and closed the game with a one-yard run for the game-winning points.

x