On Friday, October 30, the Russellville Panthers travelled to nearby Franklin to face the Wildcats in the regular-season closer for both teams.
Russellville took the loss to finish 8-2 in the regular season, as Franklin-Simpson won the game, 34-12.
With the Panthers’ post-season fate determined before the start of this game, perhaps the Wildcats dug deeper and had more on the line as they went into the game with a 5-4 overall record.
The victory puts the Franklin-Simpson squad at 6-4 for the season so far and earns them a home field playoff game next week versus Madisonville-North Hopkins in the opening round of the Class 4a Gridiron Bowl.
In the loss, Russellville drops from a fifth-best to sixth-best overall record in Class1A. Bryson Thomas led the Panthers in rushing with 69 yards in 14 attempts. Jacob Naylor saw action at QB for the Panthers, passing two for four for 52 yards, two TDs and two interceptions. Naylor’s TD passes were to Joshua Bigbee and Jason Mitchell.
Before Friday’s game, Head Coach John Myers and his Panthers were already set for the kickoff of next week’s playoffs.
The Panthers will host the Fort Knox Eagles in the opening round of the 2015 Gridiron Bowl.
Fort Knox finished their regular season with a 34-32 victory over Shawnee, improving their record to 3-7.
Russellville will play at home throughout the playoffs. With a win each week, the Panthers will play on Ken Russell Field at Historic Rhea Stadium for four games on the way to the State Championship game to be played at Western Kentucky University in November.