Pan­thers fall at Rus­sel­lville

■ The Cy­clones jumped out to a 27-0 lead in the first quar­ter.

Siloam Springs Herald Leader - - SPORTS - By Gra­ham Thomas Staff Writer ■ gth­omas@nwadg.com

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

27-7.

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.

Gra­ham Thomas/Siloam Sun­day

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.

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