ALTO – It was being billed as the Cherokee County Shootout, and the sold-out fans in attendance at Cameron Matthews Stadium witnessed a penalty-filled game that Rusk won against Alto, 43-21.

The first quarter looked like a track meet broke out at a football game.

Alto got a turnaround on an interception from Tanner McIntyre, setting up Alto at the 26-yard line.

Two plays later, Fred Thacker busted through the middle and carried half the Eagles defense with him to the goal-line for the score. Jose Castillo booted the PAT for a 7-0 score.

On the very next play, Thomas Hunter took the ensuing kickoff back 85 yards for a score, and Rusk tied the game after a Jermaine Lewis PAT kick.

The next Alto drive resulted in Thomas Hunter stepping in front of a Townsend pass on an out-route, and Hunter was off to the races for a 76-yard score and 21-7 cushion.

Rusk quarterback Dee McDuff added a 4-yard run to widen the score to 27-7 at intermission.

After the break, Alto came out and looked to be ready for a statement.

Thacker scored on a 72-yard touchdown run, but Rusk came right back with a 43-yard touchdown pass.

The final Eagles score came with Joseph Francis streaking out a fly pattern, and the perfect pass from McDuff finished up the scoring. Damion Freeney took a PAT pass from McDuff, for a 43-13 score.

Alto outgained the victors, 318-241, but Rusk threw for 140 yards to Alto's 28.

Thomas rushed five times for 82 yards and a touchdown, and one kickoff return for a score.

For the Jackets, Townsend ran for 80 yards on 19 carries, while Thacker added 57 yards on 10 attempts, including the long touchdown run.

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