TUSCUMBIA — Jacob Bishop threw a 9-yard touchdown in overtime to lift Russellville to a season-opening 27-21 win over Deshler Friday night.
The victory spoiled the debut of Deshler’s new turf field at Howard Chappell Stadium.
Bishop’s pass to Nathan Brockway for the winning score came after Deshler stopped the Golden Tigers on fourth-and-goal near the end of regulation with the game tied at 21.
Russellville (1-0) led 14-0 before Deshler stormed back with 21 unanswered points in the second quarter. Russellville tied it on Austin Ashley’s 12-yard run with 7:34 to play.
“We told our guys to be resilient and make the plays they are supposed to make,” Russellville’s second-year coach, John Ritter, said. “I’m proud of the guys; we did just enough to win.”
Russellville overcame an interception two fumbles and two blocked punts to win, in part due to a defense that held Deshler to 40 yards in the second half.
“Our defense played lights out in the second half,” Ritter said. “That gave us a chance to win the game.”
Russellville managed 299 total yards, while Deshler had just 173 total yards.
After a scoreless first quarter, Airreon McCulloch gave Russellville a 14-0 lead with touchdown runs of 1 and 7 yards.
Deshler answered with three touchdowns in the final 6:57 of the half to lead 21-14. Colton Patton got Deshler’s first touchdown of the season with a 54-yard run, and Bryan Hogan tied it with a 47-yard burst a minute later.
Will Pilgrim’s 1-yard run capped the 21-points blitz in a 3-minute span as Deshler took a 21-14 lead.
“We started pressing in the second and third quarters when we were trying to make every play instead of taking what they were giving us,” Ritter said.
Ashley’s run eventually tied it, setting up the winning score in overtime.
Bishop finished 10 of 20 for 144 yards with one touchdown and one interception. McCulloch rushed for 58 yards to go along with his two scores, while Ashley had 63 yards on 20 carries. James Hubbard had an interception for the Golden Tigers.
Grant Wisdom had a blocked punt for Deshler and Cody Collinsworth had an interception. Patton led the Tigers with 66 yards and Hogan added 57.