RHS slams Ardmore 49-7
The Russellville Golden Tigers remained unbeaten in Class 5A Region 8 with a 49-7 win at Ardmore Friday night.
With the victory, RHS improved to 5-3 on the season and 5-0 in region play to set up a battle with Fairview (7-1, 5-0) for the region title Oct. 21.
The Golden Tigers had seven touchdowns against Ardmore, with four of the scores coming in the first half from senior running back Conner Warhurst.
Russellville’s first TD of the night came with 5:39 remaining in the opening quarter when Warhurst ran 24 yards to the end zone. The lead grew to 14-0 when he scored on a 14-yard carry on fourth down about three minutes later.
Ardmore’s next drive came to a stop when Gunner Sappington intercepted a pass. Three plays later, the Golden Tigers were back into the end zone; TJ King made a grab on a pass from Harrison Burch for a 46-yard scoring strike with 11:16 to go in the second quarter.
After the RHS defense forced an Ardmore punt, Burch threw to King for another TD, this time for 55 yards, to make the score 28-0.
Warhurst added touchdown runs of four and 54 yards, with the latter coming after an interception of an AHS pass by Jah Williams.
Manny Martinez was good on all first-half extra-point kicks, and the Golden Tigers led 42-0 at the break.
The second half served as an opportunity for many young players to get valuable varsity experience.
The lone Ardmore touchdown of the contest came on Russellville’s first second-half possession when an interception was returned for a score.
Cam Phinizee of RHS ran for the final touchdown of the game from 13 yards out with 6:31 left in the third quarter, and Louis Aguirre followed with the PAT kick.
Richard Scott would add to the Golden Tigers’ defensive stops with an interception on the next play from scrimmage.
“It was a great first half. We were able to rest the starters the whole second half and get them ready to play for a region championship,” said Russellville head coach John Ritter.
One of the players who will be heavily relied upon to help bring home another region title for RHS is Warhurst. The talented and tough senior plays on both sides of the football, and because his team has put away many opponents early in the contest, his stats don’t truly reflect just how talented he is.
“Warhurst is Warhurst,” Ritter said. “He doesn’t have gaudy numbers because he hasn’t played a full game this year, and he’s going to have to play a full game coming up against Fairview. If he plays full games, his stats are gaudy too because he’s a good ballplayer.”
RHS will travel to Fairview seeking the program’s third-straight region title. The two schools share a region for the first time. A year ago, the Aggies defeated the Golden Tigers 35-21 in round two of the 5A playoffs.