KINGSTON — Walker Russell’s uniform was sparkling clean and his performance virtually the same after Alcoa’s 47-0 romp over Kingston.
With excellent protection and sure-handed receivers, the senior quarterback needed less than two quarters of action to throw three touchdown passes and finish 9-of-11 for 172 yards, leading Alcoa (8-0, 4-0 District 2-3A) over Kingston (2-6, 1-3) Friday night.
“I think we’ve got the best offensive line in the state,” Russell told The Daily Times. “They do a great job of keeping me clean. I don’t think I got hit one time tonight.”
Russell led his unit to touchdowns on the first five possessions. Sophomore Sam Vaulton spelled the senior for one drive, ending in the first of two Zeke Rankin field goals, from 33 yards out.
Russell returned to work on the two-minute drill on Alcoa’s final first-half drive before retiring for the night, uniform spotless, with Alcoa comfortably leading 44-0 at the half.
With a mercy clock running all of the second half, Rankin hit again from 36 yards to cap scoring on a long 11-play drive by the second unit that consumed most of the third quarter.
After the Tornado defense again stifled the run-centered wing-T attack of the Yellow Jackets, Alcoa had its only non-scoring drive, giving Rankin his one chance at punting for the night.
“We were fresh, with fresh legs, and just came in and executed well,” Russell said, referring to Alcoa coming off its bye week.
Alcoa scored on drives of 80, 75 and 75 yards to open up a quick lead before Kingston garnered a single first down.
K’vaughn Tyson opened the bank with a 2-yard blast to cap a 7-play drive that featured a 42-yard jet sweep from Ahmaudd Sankey.
Tyler Boyd hauled in the first of Walker’s three touchdown strikes to finish the next drive. The drive was sparked by a 28-yard scamper from C.J. Jones. Tristen Blankenship then crashed through the line and stiff-armed a defensive back to break free for a 65-yard rushing strike.
Kingston finally picked up a first down but fumbled two plays later, the first of three turnovers forced by the stingy defense.
Isaiah Cox did the work on the next drive with a 20-yard reception from Russell then a 23-yard tackle-breaking bust.
Only one failed extra point attempt marred the first quarter with Alcoa taking a 27-0 lead.
Walker threw his second touchdown pass to Blankenship with both players showing fine efforts. Walker avoided a Kingston rush then stepped up near the line of scrimmage before firing a 27-yard strike, with Blankenship cutting inside a defender to nab it.
C.J. Armstrong took the final Russell scoring toss of 12 yards as Alcoa moved 66 yards on six plays in 44 seconds to go into halftime leading 44-0.
“We played good,” Alcoa coach Gary Rankin said. “We had them out-manned a little bit, but they didn’t quit. We’ve seen some teams this year just kind of quit, but (Kingston) kept playing hard.”
The efficacy of the Tornado offense, with 248 yards on 28 carries added to the tandem QB output of 225 yards, tends to get more attention than another shutout by the defense.
Brian Nix’s defense allowed Kingston six first downs and 126 total yards. Hard hitting helped Alcoa grab two Yellow Jacket fumbles, and Cox added an interception as the Kingston passing attack managed three completions in 11 attempts.
“The defense really flew around tonight,” Rankin said. “To get a shutout against anybody in this day and time is pretty good. One of our objectives in a game like this is to play as many kids as we can, and I think we got everybody in, so that’s great.”
Alcoa travels to take on Gatlinburg-Pittman on Oct. 19.