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Hartselle Enquirer

Dominated

By Staff
No. 1 Russellville backs up its rating in 45-21 drubbing of Tigers
Justin Schuver, Hartselle Enquirer
RUSSELLVILLE — A week after knocking off then-No. 2 Decatur in Hartselle, the Tigers came into Russellville with another upset on their minds. The Golden Tigers had other plans.
No. 1 Russellville (3-0, 2-0 in Region 8) looked every bit the top team in the state as it dominated Hartselle (2-1, 1-1) in a 45-21 loss for the Tigers, their first defeat of the season.
Russellville running backs Michael Abernathy and Kirby Nelson paced the Golden Tigers’ offense with tough runs all night long. Abernathy finished the game with 195 yards on 12 carries and three rushing touchdowns and Nelson had 118 yards on 18 carries and a touchdown.
The Tigers also shot themselves in the foot several times, turning the ball over four times. Russellville was able to convert three of those turnovers into points.
Hartselle played from behind the entire night, with Russellville opening the game with a 93-yard drive after forcing Hartselle to go three-and-out. Abernathy scored from the Hartselle 1-yard line with 3:50 left in the first quarter.
The Golden Tigers improved their lead to 12-0 just 28 seconds later, taking advantage of a Hartselle fumble to set up a 23-yard touchdown pass from Cory Trapp to Patrick Hines.
Hartselle used a special teams play to set up its first touchdown of the game, with Travis Clemons blocking a Russellville punt to set the Tigers up on the Russellville 24. Two plays later, Hartselle quarterback Wes Chenault connected with Tony Weaver for a 10-yard touchdown to make the score 12-7.
From that point, it was all Russellville all the time.
The Golden Tigers increased their lead to 31-7, scoring on their next three possessions. Two of those scoring drives started in great field position as a result of Hartselle turnovers — the Tigers fumbled on the Hartselle 17 and Chenault was intercepted at the Russellville 43.
Hartselle running back Marquez Jones added a 10-yard touchdown with 1:49 remaining in the half. The Tigers had a chance to add more points just before halftime, but Ray Canafax’s 51-yard field goal attempt was wide right.
Russellville added two more touchdowns in the second half on a 62-yard run by Abernathy and a 10-yard pass from Trapp to Blake Grose. Hartselle answered Russellville’s last touchdown with another good special teams play as Josh Slaten returned the ensuing kickoff 94 yards to make the score 45-21 with 3:08 remaining in the game.
Hartselle hosts Muscle Shoals Friday at J.P. Cain Stadium. Both teams have 1-1 region records.

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