Russellville outscored Lake Hamilton in three of the four quarters Friday night at Wolf Stadium. The Wolves survived Senior Night with a 30-point explosion in the second quarter to east past the Cyclones, 37-27.
“The second quarter was our best of the year, and it was against a quality opponent,” said winning coach Tommy Gilleran. “Our defense got turnovers in their end of the field. I was really proud of our defense tonight. We had two picks (Jamarrion Byrd and Dakota Muncrief), For us to be successful our defense has to play well. That’s why we have to play some guys both ways.”
Senior Justin Crutchmer was one of those players going both ways. He delivered some of the hardest hits in the game on defense, but his biggest contribution came on offense. Crutchmer scored three touchdowns and rushed for 174 yards on 24 carries. He also had three receptions for 63 yards, including a spectacular 20-yard TD catch on fourth down with three seconds left in the first half.
“Crutchmer is a winner; he makes us better,” said Gilleran. “Our offensive line played better tonight. Considering what we lost to graduation last year, these kids have really done well. If we can beat Pulaski Academy next week we’ll be the second seed. I head PA lost its quarterback tonight at Greenwood.”
The Bulldogs wrapped up another league title Friday by defeating Pulaski Academy, 33-23.
Russellville captured early 9-0 advantage
Russellville jumped out to a 9-0 lead in the first quarter against the Wolves. A fumble kept Lake Hamilton (8-1, 5-1) out of the Cyclones’ end zone early. The Wolves marched down the field on their third possession, with junior quarterback Easton Hurley scoring on a fourth down plunge from a yard out. Bryan Garcia’s PAT was good, making it 9-7. Seven seconds later the game was tied 9-0 when the Russellville quarterback was tackled for a safety.
Crutchmer’s first score came from 25 yards with 7:20 left in the first half. Kendrick Martin made it 23-9 after Byrd’s interception.
The 30-9 margin got a lot closer in the third quarter. The Cyclones controlled the ball like it did early and scored 10 unanswered points to make it 30-19. Crutchmer’s third score came on a fourth down play from the 1 with 4:34 remaining.
The Cyclones scored the game’s final points on a pass, but the ensuing onside kick was recovered by Lake Hamilton’s Hayden Barton.