Golden Tigers maul Indians 49-21 to secure at least the third seed in 5A, Region 8
It was senior night at Russellville Stadium, but it was a sophomore that helped the Golden Tigers improve to 7-1 overall and 5-1 in region play with a 49-21 victory against East Limestone.
Brent Calloway rushed for 167 yards on 12 carries and scored three touchdowns. He also caught a pair of passes for 59 yards and another score.
"I told the seniors I would produce for them," Calloway said.
Calloway opened the scoring on a 47-yard run with 8:44 remaining in the first quarter.
The Golden Tigers defense forced East Limestone to punt on the ensuing possession and returned the kick to the Indian 5-yard line.
Nathan McAlister scored on a screen pass from Joey Howe on the first play to push the lead to 14-0.
East Limestone (3-5, 3-3) scored with 3:49 remaining in the half on a 5-yard run.
Russellville answered by driving 61 yards in five plays, punching the ball into the end zone on a 9-yard run by Calloway.
The defense forced another Indian punt and the Golden Tiger offense capitalized when Howe found Calloway for a 51-yard touchdown strike four seconds before halftime.
"That was pretty big going into the half," said Russellville coach Doug Goodwin. "The defense did a good job getting the ball back and the offense did a good job getting into the end zone."
Calloway added to the lead on a 20-yard run in the third quarter. Howe also scored in the third by running into the end zone from the 2-yard line to put Russellville ahead 42-7.
The Indians scored on a 64-yard pass midway through the third, but Russellville answered again when Howe found Jyran Darby in the end zone on a 13-yard pass. Jose Betancourt added his seventh extra point of the night to put the Golden Tigers ahead 49-14.
With five minutes remaining in the game, East Limestone added another score on a 2-yard run.
The Indians drove to the Russellville 10-yard line in the closing seconds of the game and their quarterback was tackled short of the goal line. The officials called a facemask penalty against Russellville and the Indians had one more chance to score.
Russellville stopped the running back for a 3-yard loss on the final play.
With the win, Russellville has clinched at least the third seed in Class 5A, Region 8.
"It feels great. We've worked hard and come a long way," said senior defensive lineman Demorian Abernathy. "The underclassmen have worked hard too. Tonight, it was a good team effort."
The Golden Tigers will travel to Athens Friday. The winner of that game will earn the region's second seed and will host a game during the first round of the state playoffs.
"It is a big deal next week," Goodwin said. "We want to be in one of the first two spots."