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franklin county times

Russellville Golden Tigers take rivalry football game over Deshler

This year’s edition of the storied high school football rivalry between Russellville and Deshler went the way of the Golden Tigers Friday night at RHS.

Russellville improved to 2-0 on the season with a 35-13 win over the 0-2 Tigers from Tuscumbia. The Golden Tigers fell behind 13-0 to DHS and did not have a single offensive snap until 10:57 remaining in the second quarter.

An 11-play drive opened the game and finished with a 1-yard fourth down touchdown run to start the scoring. After an onside kick recovery on the following kickoff, Deshler put together a 10-play drive that finished with a 21-yard TD pass that also came on fourth down to make the score 13-0.

The first RHS drive lasted 11 plays and was capped by an 11-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Harrison Burch to Nicklaus Pounders. Manny Martinez added the first of his five extra-point kicks on the night to make the score 13-7 with 5:55 left in the first half.

Next came a three-and-out by the Russellville defense and a punt return touchdown by Jah Williams that was nullified due to a penalty on the Golden Tigers.

RHS still had outstanding field position, and it took Cam Phinizee only two carries to find the end zone. The 9-yard touchdown run put Russellville ahead 14-13.

The final scoring play of the first half came on an impressive cross-field run by Cash Crumpton after receiving a pass from Burch that resulted in a 21-yard TD with just 15 seconds left on the second quarter clock. A Deshler player was injured during the play and was taken from the field by ambulance.

The second half featured strong defensive stops by the Golden Tigers and two additional touchdowns from Phinizee. A third quarter run of 80 yards for a score was followed by a 20-yard TD carry by the sophomore to finish the scoring early in the final period.

Through two games, Phinizee has seven touchdowns and is averaging 222.5 yards rushing. Russellville outgained Deshler in total yards by a 345 to 179 margin. RHS outdid DHS on the ground 195 yards to 86 and through the air 150-93.

After the fast start by Deshler, the Russellville team answered. “Credit to them,” said RHS head coach John Ritter of the Deshler squad. “I thought they had a really good plan. I thought they came out and executed well and they did some things that were new to us. I thought we responded well, and I thought we made some adjustments on the defensive side and then to score 35 unanswered, that’s a big deal.”

Next for RHS is a trip to Moulton to take on the Lawrence County Red Devils. LCHS is 1-1 on the season with a win over Danville and a loss to Guntersville. The contest will open region play for both schools.

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