By Chad Dixon
Russell County Head Coach Dwight Jones admitted at the beginning of the 2018 season that his team had a difficult schedule. The Warriors dropped their season opener 28-9 on the road to Smiths Station and lost in their home opener on August 31 26-7 to Carroll-Ozark.
“We opened against a 7A team that is bigger and stronger numbers wise and vastly improved. Then, we play Carroll, who hasn’t lost a regular season game in three years. We knew it would be difficult but I think our guys are improving,” Jones said.
Carroll, currently ranked no. 4 in Class 5A by the Alabama Sportswriters Association, scored first in the second quarter with a one-yard rushing touchdown. Senior running back Jalen Mitchell responded later in the quarter with a 10-yard rushing touchdown of his own to tie the game at seven after the PAT. The Warriors closed the half with a 7-7 deadlock.
Carroll scored touchdowns in the third and fourth quarter to pull away from the Warriors and limit them to just 156 yards of total offense.
“We played a lot more physical, but we made some mistakes on some blocking assignments and turned the ball over. That is something that you just can’t do against good teams,” Jones added.
Warriors’ quarterback Quon Pritchett was 9-for-13 with 62 passing yards. Mitchell led all rushers with 37 yards on eight carries. D’Andre Hartwell had 21 receiving yards on four catches. Defensively, Myles Byrom had 17 tackles.
Russell County will open their Class 6A Area 2 schedule on September 7 against the Carver-Montgomery Tigers at Russell County High School at 8pm ET. The Tigers are 2-0 to start the season. They defeated Jeff Davis High School 19-3 in week one and traveled to beat Greenville High School 18-3 last Friday.
Jones hopes his players see tomorrow’s game as a reset as they start their region schedule.
“The kids know these are the games that count in regards to making the playoffs. I think they have gotten past the first game mistakes, but they also know Carver is a really good football team. We must do things the right way. Carver’s players are extremely athletic, strong and fast. We will have to play four quarters of football the right way to stay in it,” Jones stated.