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No. 9 Golden Tigers face Florence

By Staff
Kim West
Franklin County times
Russellville has already secured the No. 2 sport in Class 5A, Region 8 and a home game in the first round of the state playoffs.
But the ninth-ranked Golden Tigers (8-1, 6-1) still have some unfinished business as they host No. 10 Florence (8-1, 7-0) tonight at Russellville Stadium.
The Falcons, who are coached by former University of North Alabama defensive assistant Alvin Briggs, are coming off an emotional win over Huntsville last Friday that clinched the first Class 6A, Region 8 championship for the Falcons.
Florence played Russellville for the first time last season at Braly Stadium, and surprised the Golden Tigers, who were undefeated headed into the Week 10 game, which Russellville lost 14-13 despite outgaining the Falcons 290-226.
But the Golden Tigers missed an extra-point attempt and turned the ball over three times, while Florence finished with zero turnovers.
Florence's high-flying offense depends heavily on the production of running back Shawn Southward and quarterback Chad Willis.
"Their offense is predicated on how well that Southward kid runs – he has good speed and keeps going forward," Russellville coach Doug Goodwin said. "Florence has a lot of good skill players and will be bigger than us on both sides of the ball – it will come down to us blocking up front, and if we can tackle their running back."
Senior linebacker Kory Suggs said Russellville has something to prove against the Falcons.
"We've got to get the win back, because you always want revenge if you lose against someone," Suggs said. "We just didn't play our best last year, and I feel like this team can win anytime we play our best."