The Russellville Panthers returned to the football turf this past Friday with a trip to Fulton City. The Panthers ran their overall record to 7-1 with a 70-24 rout of the Fulton City Bulldogs on the Bulldogs’ home turf.
The loss gives the Bulldogs a 1-8 record, including a 1-2 district record. The Panther win makes the John Myers coached squad 2-0 in district play.
In the blow-out win, the Panthers out-ran the Bulldogs by over 500 rushing yards (554 to 27).
With a quick and constant lead, the game was never in doubt. The Bulldogs showed effort, however, and out-passed the visiting opponent 213 yards to 63 yards.
In their largest point production of the year, 10 different Panthers contributed to the final point total. Single TDs were scored by TK Hampton, Caleb Hardison, Jacolbie Mason, Jason Mitchell, and Jacob Naylor. Joshua Bigbee, MJ Jones and Jaylyn McMurry each had two TDS. Also, Milam Watkins kicked eight extra points and Mitchell completed a two-point conversion.
In a game featuring nearly exclusively a running attack (554 yard on the ground), Panther QB Jaylyn McMurry, a junior, continued to show patience and maturity as he passed three for four for 51 yards with no interceptions and a TD. Freshman backup QB Jacob Naylor stepped in, making his one pass attempt count for a 12 yard completion and a TD.
Defensive stand-out plays were made by Jaylyn McMurry with an interception, and by lineman Caleb Hardison’s fumble recovery and rumble return for 28 yards and a TD.
The Panthers in 2015 have lost only once (to Class 2A Murray) and in their seven wins have averaged margins of victory of nearly 38 points.
Next is a trip to Crittenden County on Friday October 23. Kickoff is at 7 pm. It will be the third and final district game for both teams; currently the Panthers and Rockets are 2-0 in Class 1A District 1.
Friday’s game will be for a District title. Last year the Panthers were runner-up in District 1; last year the Rockets were winless in Class 2A District 1 (this is their first year in Class 1a District 1). Be sure that this will be a big game for both teams as each of them are hungry for that District title.