ALEXANDER CITY, Ala. -- With a blocked punt on the first series of the game last night, the Benjamin Russell Wildcats set the tone for a Region 2 game and coasted to a 50-3 lead last night at the Sportplex.
Benjamin Russell (6-0) racked up nearly 300 first half yards and capitalized off of three Russell Co. (1-4-1) turnovers.
After the blocked punt for a touchdown that was returned by Jestavias Robinson, BRHS runningback Labrenikin Johnson started off the offense with a 12 yard run.
After a 24-yard pass from quarterback Bryant Horn to Bookie Ford, Horn ran in from 10 yards out for a 13-0 lead with eight minutes left in the first period.
Both teams went three-and-out before Horn connected on a pass to Johnson to the one-yard line.
A Benjamin Russell penalty pushed the Wildcats back and Collin Sharpe knocked in a 24-yard field goal as the clock expired in the first quarter.
BRHS went on to score four touchdowns in the second quarter to build momentum.
Horn started the period with an interception that set up a 38 yard touchdown pass to Quez Alvies two plays later.
In what was the biggest play of the game for the Warriors, they returned to ensuing kickoff to the BRHS 17-yard line.
Consecutive Russell Co. penalties made a third and 36 yard try that wound up in a Russell Co. fumble that was recovered by BRHS linebacker Ryan Jones.
Alves scored one play later on a 48-yard touchdown run that saw the speedster tip toe through the last 10 yards.
Russell Co. responded with their first first down of the game with nine minutes left in the half after Marquez Greer ran 25 yards through the BRHS defense.
The Warriors had more penalty yardage (80 yards) in the first half than total yardage (49 yards).
After the first down run by Greer, the tailback then fumbled and BRHS linebacker Dra Graham recovered the ball for a BRHS possession.
Horn scored six plays later on an 11-yard dive from the spread option formation.
Russell Co. then fumbled again on their next possession and Johnson took the next play 46 yards to the house for a 43-0 BRHS lead going into the half.
Both squads agreed to play 10 minute quarters in the second half, as the Wildcats put their back-ups in the game after an early Horn touchdown in the third quarter made it 50-0.
Benjamin Russell lost their bid for a shutout when Russell Co kicked a 23 yard field goal with 6:40 left in the game.
Both teams went back and forth through the fourth quarter as the teams played to a finish. The win secures Benjamin Russell a state playoff spot for the second consecutive season.
"Hats off to Russell County for playing a tough game until the end, overall it's a win and I thought both sides of the ball played okay," BRHS head coach Danny Horn said. "It wasn't our sharpest night, but it's a good win."
The win takes BRHS to 4-0 in Region 2 play as they head down to winless Rehobeth next week with the hopes of getting up early and playing to their potential.
There is always more work that can be done.
Records: Russell County 1-4-1, 1-3 Class 5A Region 2; Ben Russell 7-0, 4-0. Next: Russell County, home vs. Marbury, Friday, 8 p.m.