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Russell Suffers First Loss of 2023

2023 RHS Football Team Picture by Jason Drake
2023 RHS Football Team Picture by Jason Drake

The Russell High School football team fell 30-6 to Smith Center at Shaffer Field in Russell on Friday, September 15.

Defense was king in the first half as neither team scored and Russell and Smith Center went to the halftime locker room tied 0-0.

The first score of the game finally came with 4:01 remaining in the third quarter when Smith Center (2-1, 2-1 Mid-Continent League) senior running back Luke Franklin rushed eight yards for a touchdown. The two-point conversion was good and the Redmen led 8-0 after three periods.

With 11:46 to play, Franklin rushed for a 13-yard touchdown for Smith Center. The two-point conversion was good. The only score of the night for Russell (2-1, 2-1 MCL) came with 8:01 to play on a trick play that saw sophomore backup quarterback Trey Zorn pass two yards to junior starting quarterback Mason Rohr for a TD. The play capped off a 10-play, 63-yard drive. The two-point conversion was no good and the Broncos trailed 16-6. On the very next offensive play for Smith Center, Franklin scampered 70 yards for a touchdown. The two-point conversion was good. And with 2:30 remaining, Franklin scored his fourth touchdown of the game on a 14-yard run. The two-point conversion was no good, but the Redmen pulled away for the 30-6 win.

Despite not having a single passing yard, Smith Center outgained Russell 333 total yards to 212 yards. All 333 yards for the Redmen were on the ground. The Broncos finished with 64 yards rushing and 148 yards passing.

Rohr completed 19 passes for 146 yards for Russell. Sophomore wide receiver Max Evans caught three passes for 50 yards. Rohr also rushed eight times for 34 yards.

Franklin led Smith Center with 270 yards rushing on 18 carries and four scores.

Turnovers again hurt Russell. The Broncos gave up two interceptions and three fumbles. Smith Center fumbled twice.

Russell next begins district play at Beloit on Friday, September 22. Catch the game on KRSL 95.9 and KRSL.com with pregame coverage starting at 6:30 PM and kickoff at 7.