Montgomery kicks game-winning FG,
No. 2 Russellville improves to 5-0 Paul Stackhouse
For the FCT
DECATUR – Austin High football coach David Norwood kneeled and stared at the turf following the Black Bears 24-21 loss to Russellville on Friday night at Ogle Stadium.
He was unhappy, but it wasn't about his players.
Norwood had watched a game where 22 penalty flags hit the ground. Austin was penalized 11 times for 62 yards, while Russellville had 11 for 75 yards.
Norwood declined to comment about the officiating, but did want to speak about his team.
"We may have made some mistakes tonight, but our guys never quit," Norwood said. "They played their tales off for four quarters. I know they will bounce back from this, they're resilant."
With the scored tied at 21 and 40 seconds left to play late in the fourth quarter, Russellville place-kicker Josh Montgomery connected on an 35-yard field goal to give the Golden Tigers the winning points.
"We count on him a lot," first-year Russellville coach Doug Goodwin said. "He kicked two big field goals for us against Hartselle and he kicked another one tonight."
It looked as if Russellville, 5-0 and ranked No. 2 in Class 5A, was going to run away with the game after posting a 14-0 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Jake Ward had a 2-yard touchdown run for the Golden Tigers in the first period before he threw a 33-yard scoring pass to Caleb Mitchell.
The Black Bears bounced back to make it 14-7 at intermission. Frederick Moore literally took the ball away from a Russellville defender to claim a 34-yard touchdown pass from Justin Jones.
Ward took the kick to start the second half at his own 19 and ran to the Austin 37. From there, the Golden Tigers proceeded to march to the end zone on 10 running plays with Kory Suggs crossing the goal line from the 2 for a 21-7 lead.
Once again, Austin (2-3) bounced back to make the score 21-14 at the end of the third quarter.
After receiving Russellville's ensuing kick, the Black Bears set up at their own 26. It took Austin 11 plays to score with D.T. Shackelford running into the end zone from the 1.
The Austin fans had plenty to cheer about when the Black Bears tied the score at 21 with 4:19 left to play. Once again, Shackelford forced his way across the goal line, this time from the 2.
The Black Bears recovered the kickoff after the ball bounced off a Russellville player with Cornelius Jenkins giving Austin offense another chance from the Russellville 34.
Two plays later,the Black Bears lost a fumble that set up the Golden Tigers' winning field goal.
"We didn't make the plays when we had to," Norwood said. "We didn't stop them when we had to. But, Russellville has a good football team. They are well- coached and are used to winning and they know how to win.
"We made mistakes but we'll be back."
D'Nico Best had 117 yards rushing for Austin on 16 carries. The Black Bears had 282 yards of total offense with 175 coming on the ground.
Russellville finished the game with 301 yards of total offense with 205 coming from the passing game.
"After we went up 14-0, I thought we were going to have control of the game," Goodwin said. "But, they (Austin) did a good job of getting back in it. They're a good football team."