Panthers fall at Russellville
■ The Cyclones jumped out to a 27-0 lead in the first quarter.
RUSSELLVILLE — Russellville quarterback Ryan Tally and his favorite target, wide receiver Rhett Adkins, were definitely on the same page Friday night, and there wasn’t much the Siloam Springs Panthers could do about it.
Adkins caught 11 passes from Tally for 249 yards and one touchdown, and Tally threw for 360 yards as Russellville jumped out to an early 27-0 lead and went on to defeat Siloam Springs 55-21 at Cyclone Stadium.
Tally finished 20 of 28 passing, and the up-tempo Cyclones (5-5, 4-3 6A-West) had more than 600 yards of offense in the rout of the Panthers, who finished the season with a 2-8 record overall and 1-6 in the 6A-West Conference, missing the playoffs for the third straight year.
“I told the kids I was proud of them,” said Siloam Springs coach Bryan Ross, who just completed his ninth season as head coach. “They came out and hit us quick. They’ve got some good athletes and get them the ball in space, and we just didn’t match up. But it’s like I told the kids in there (in the locker room), you’re only a loser if you quit and don’t give your best and I don’t think our kids ever did that so I was proud of the way they fought back.
“We just didn’t have enough bullets in the gun tonight, but I’m proud of them.”
The Cyclones had their foot on the gas early, scoring on their first five possessions to go up 33-7.
“We worked really hard this week of picking up our pace,” said first-year Cyclones coach Jeff Weaver. “We’ve sort of slowed down recently and not even realized it. Our kids play a lot better when we go fast. We have several weapons and it’s hard to cover them all up. Adkins had a great night. Tally played really well.”
Tally hit Adkins for a 39yard pass on the Cyclones’ second offensive play, and Adkins took a reverse in for a score to go up 7-0.
Tally found Greg Thomas for a 14-yard touchdown and after a Russellville interception, he ran for a 20-yard touchdown as the Cyclones went up 20-0.
Russellville made it 27-0 on a 13-yard pass from Tally to Marquise Peter with 1:38 left.
Siloam Springs, which saw its season come to an end, got on the scoreboard when Marquan Sorrells took a short pass and outraced the Cyclones for a 77-yard score to make it
The Cyclones answered when Tally found Jacob Luster for a 13-yard score to make it 33-7. Russellville’s defense stuffed Kaiden Thrailkill on the goalline to keep the Panthers from chipping into the lead.
Siloam Springs did hit Russellville for a pair of scores in the third quarter, with Pool finding Tristan Moose for a TD pass and Thrailkill scoring, but the Cyclones answered each time.
Tally threw a touchdown pass to Peters and Drake Adkins scored to make it 48-21. Rhett Adkins capped his big night with a 47-yard touchdown to open the fourth quarter.
“We struggled to stop them,” Ross said. “They have three to four really good skills guys. Their quarterback is able to get them the ball. That’s part of the spread offense. You get athletes alone in space.
“They went fast. We knew that. That’s part of what they do and they get better as the year goes on. We were pretty banged up there at the end, but proud of the kids and proud of their effort.”
Siloam Springs finished with 366 yards of offense and had several drives deep into Russellville territory that came up empty.
One drive was derailed by a fumble after Pool was hit while attempting to pass and eventually resulted in a turnover on downs. The other was the Cyclones’ goalline stand right before halftime.
“We had an issue with (finishing drives) this year,” Ross said. “We punch that one in before halftime or maybe another one it’s a different ballgame.”
Junior running back Kaiden Thrailkill topped 1,000 yards of total offense for the season with 26 carries for 105 yards, while Sorrells had his best game at receiver with four catches for 132 yards. Luke Gumm caught six passes for 56 yards.
Pool finished 16 of 39 for 237 yards and a pair of touchdown passes.
Primo Agbehi and Nolan Wallis each had interceptions on defense for the Panthers, while Chase Chandler and Seth Hufford both recovered onside kicks.
Siloam Springs junior tight end Chase Chandler is wrapped up by Russellville defenders after catching a pass in the first quarter Friday at Cyclone Stadium.