In the final home game of the 2015 regular season, the Russellville Panthers dominated the Fulton County Pilots and got the victory 66-8.
The scoring came early and often in this game in which the outcome was never in doubt.
A fumble recovery early in the game set up Joshua Bigbee’s run of five yards was the game’s first score at 9:37 in the first quarter. The kick after by Milam Watkins was good for a 7-0 Panther lead. After the Panther defense held the Fulton County team to three downs then a punt, it was Bigbee again with a 62 yards return for another TD. At 7:09 in the first quarter, RHS led 13-0.
The Pilots did manage a scoring drive, capped by a seven yard pass from their QB Aaron King to tight end DeVontae Hampton. With a successful two-point conversion, the score was 19-8 as the second quarter got underway.
In the game, Russellville got scores from seven different players. Bigbee led the way with three TDs. MJ Jones and Jason Mitchell added two TDs each. Damon Hales, Jaylyn McMurry, Jacob Naylor, and Thomas Bryson had a score each.
The Panthers forced five turnovers on defense, two interceptions and three fumbles.
Since the Panthers joined Class 1A District one in 2011, these two teams have met each year and in the series Russellville is now 5-0, outscoring the Pilots 289 to 40.
The victory gives the Panthers a 6-1 overall record, including 1-0 in their district. The Panthers have a firm hold on fourth place in the Class 1A standings behind undefeated Paris, Paintsville, and Bishop Brossart.
The Russellville squad has this coming weekend off.
Next for the Panthers is October 16 trip to Fulton City to face the 1-6 Bulldogs. The Bulldogs only victory of the year was against Fulton County 38-28 on September 4.
Cold rain and wind kept many fans at home, but many proud loved-ones were in attendance. In a ceremony prior to the start of Friday’s game, Russellville High School senior members of the RHS Band, Cheerleading Squad, and Football Team were recognized and honored in a brief ceremony.