Panthers breeze by Storm
By Jim Turner


Posted on January 1, 0001 12:00 AM



Less than a minute and a half after kickoff, the Russellville Panthers had made the Storm subside. Coach John Myers’ team led 13-0 with 10:31 remaining in the first quarter. High school quarters are just 12 minutes long.

Coco Darden returned the opening kickoff to the Panther 33. On first down, Demarcus Hampton raced 67 yards for the only score the Panthers would need in a 54-0 win over the outmanned Storm representing Hopkins County Central. Corey Wright kicked the first of his six extra points when the game was just 26 seconds old.

HCC fumbled on first down with Russellville’s Dustin Morgan recovering. That came at the 10:48 mark. On his team’s second offensive play of the young game, junior quarterback Barrett Croslin connected with senior running back Zach Hines for a 28-yard touchdown. RHS led 13-0 at 10:41. At this rate, the home team would have scored 416 points. Even though the Panthers added two more touchdowns in the first quarter, they didn’t keep up the opening pace, especially after a running clock began with 2:54 remaining in the third quarter when junior Dequan Beard powered into the end zone from the 3-yard line.

The third touchdown came on an 18-yard keeper by Croslin, ending a 49-yard, 5-play drive at 7:01 in the first.

The fourth touchdown was set up by an interception by junior safety Christian Naylor. Croslin and Hines combined for their second touchdown of the quarter, this one on a 20-yard pass with 2:25 showing on the first-quarter clock.

Next, senior Josh Hampton wrestled the ball away from a Storm defender who appeared to have made an interception. Hampton took the ball 49 yards to the end zone 38 seconds into the second quarter. Wright’s kick put the home team up 34-0.

That was Croslin’s third touchdown pass in the first 13 minutes of the game, and Myers pulled him in favor of Darden at quarterback on the next possession. Darden fumbled the ball away on first down, but the sophomore got his team the ball back in a hurry, intercepting a pass by Hopkins County Central sophomore quarterback Austin Franklin. Darden returned the interception for a touchdown, but it was called back on a penalty. The interception stood, however.

Croslin came back in and threw his fourth touchdown pass, the second straight to Josh Hampton, for 49 yards. It was 41-0 with 5:56 left in the half. Croslin, who had completed only 6 of 25 passes for 35 yards total in the first two games, threw four touchdown passes and piled up 161 yards in less than a half of this one.

As the half wound down, Hopkins County mounted a drive against the Panthers’ second defensive unit and got into the red zone. In fact, the visitors had a second and goal at the RHS five, but Defensive Coordinator Gwynne Gaddie reinserted the starting defense and they held. Senior A.K. Tisdale picked off a fourth down pass in the end zone to end the threat and the half.

Darden quarterbacked in the third quarter and engineered the drive on which Beard scored that started the continuously running clock. The team went 94 yards on that drive.

Naylor quarterbacked the fourth quarter. Freshman Josh Bigbee made some big runs, and sophomore Lee McMurry scored the final touchdown from the one.

Russellville (2-1) will play at South Warren (1-2) next Friday.

 

 

 




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