Ad Spot

Say it isn't so!

By Staff
Hartselle's run at the Class 5A title stopped by Russellville, 34-14
Nick Johnston, Hartselle Enquirer
RUSSELLVILLE – How important is ball control against a team like Russellville?
Just ask Hartselle head coach Mike Smith.
"Turnovers were the difference in the game," Smith said after Russellville beat his Hartselle Tigers 34-14 Friday night. "(Fumbles) cost us 14 points, and that was the difference, really."
Smith had very little to say following the loss, but Russellville head coach Perry Swindall was all smiles.
"It's a special thing for our town and our community to have a chance to go to Birmingham and represent Russellville football," Swindall said.
Turnovers proved to be the story for Hartselle, as a fumble late in the first half led to Russellville's second touchdown and the Golden Tigers having a 14-7 advantage.
In the third quarter, after Hartselle forced a Russellville fumble, the Tigers drove to the eight-yard line before coughing up the football.
After the opening kickoff, though, it appeared Hartselle had all the momentum it needed to pull off an upset.
Chris Wiley took the opening kickoff 81 yards for a touchdown no more than 15 seconds into the game. Hajialilu added the extra point for an early 7-0 lead.
But, Russellville would bounce back with an eight-play, 60-yard drive, culminating with Jake Tompkins' 19-yard touchdown strike to Justin Williams off of play-action.
The score remained at 7-7 until a fumble on a punt return. Justin Youngblood settled under the punt but could not get the handle. Ty Hollingsworth scooped up the fumble and returned it to the eight-yard line. Four plays later, Tompkins found the endzone on the ground.
Hartselle evened the score at 14-all with 2:12 remaining in the third quarter. Isiah Herring found the endzone from one yard out. Normally when the Tigers are close to the endzone they will look to Jeremy Orr to punch it in. However, Orr went down earlier on the drive with a severely sprained ankle. He did not return, though he was the leading ground gainer for Hartselle, rushing nine times for 58 yards.
From that point, Russellville was able to dominate Hartselle's defense for three more scores.
Russellville was still going to the air as time was running out. Tompkins was one pass shy from Brodie Croyle's state record of 44 touchdown passes in a single season, and Swindall said he thought he owed Tompkins a shot at tying the record.
"Have you ever held a state record?," he asked a group of reporters. "I have a quarterback that has a chance to tie a state record, and I think he is deserving of that. They can say that's a bad thing or it's cheap or whatever they say. We could have handed the ball off and done just as good."
"Records are fine and dandy," Smith said. "But, we're supposed to be here to teach them class."
See RECORD, B-3

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Sheffield is officer of quarter 

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Fourth grade rocks 4-H 

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

‘Jesus Revolution’: Priceville couple serve as extras in upcoming faith-based film  

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Finding Your Future draws crowd

News

Lacey’s Spring man allegedly entered neighbor’s house, abused sleeping woman

Hartselle

Crestwood Shopping Center sold to Florida investment company

News

Chamber’s State of the County breakfast set for February

Hartselle

Making progress

News

Judge’s choice  

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Sheriff gets OK to hire part-time jailers

News

Hartselle Drama Gala returns Saturday

At a Glance

Annual tree giveaway to be held March 1

Eva

Shaddix, Hopkins named Morgan Teachers of the Year  

Morgan County

Fundraising kicks off for 120-foot Morgan cross

Morgan County

Stadthagen named to three legislative committees  

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Morgan’s jobless rate among lowest statewide  

Falkville

Looking ahead: Growth on horizon for Hartselle, surrounding area  

Hartselle

American Legion Post 52 hosts annual speech contest 

At a Glance

Falkville man killed in crash

At a Glance

Somerville shooting victim identified

At a Glance

Morgan students graduate from JSU

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Hartselle Educator Hall of Fame to induct six  

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Flying high: Hartselle senior is dual enrolled in aviation program 

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Judge dismisses lawsuit that sought to invalidate hiring of new Hartselle superintendent 

x