Russellville set to battle Southside-Gadsden

By Staff
Scot Beard
The fifth-ranked Russellville football team begins its playoff run Friday night as the Golden Tigers host Southside-Gadsden.
The Golden Tigers (8-2, 6-1) are coming off a shutout of Colbert County and head coach Doug Goodwin said the team is ready to play.
"We had a good practice Monday. It was lively," Goodwin said. "They feel better about themselves and they are starting to heal up some."
The Southside offense runs the Wing-T – something Russellville is familiar with thanks to having Deshler on the schedule.
Goodwin said the Panthers (5-5, 4-3) run several formations to keep opponents confused.
"They try to out number you on the perimeter," Goodwin said.
The Panthers are averaging only 19.7 points per game. Russellville is allowing 11.2 points per game and has posted three shutouts.
Darrian Graham, Jake Ward and Mason Willis top the team with two interceptions each. Jesse Green and Jacob Gist lead the team in tackles with 94 each.
The Russellville offense will see many different defensive formations from the Panthers, but Goodwin said they usually run an odd-man front on defense.
The Golden Tiger offense has regained its spark in recent weeks and is scoring an average of 27.6 points. Southside is allowing 20.2 points.
"They remind me of East Limestone," Goodwin said. "They have good looking players on both sides of the ball."
Goodwin said he was unsure what kind of game to expect from the Panthers.
"At times they look good," Goodwin said. "Other times they look uninspired.
Russellville is expected to play inspired this week as several players either reached or just missed milestones last week.
Russellville quarterback Joey Howe exceeded the 1,000-yard passing mark against Colbert County last week and running back Jyran Darby moved past the 500-yard rushing mark.
Brent Calloway needs 79 rushing yards to hit the 1,000-yard mark for the second season in a row.
Of course, this team is more interested in winning than padding personal stats.
The Golden Tigers got a taste of what it is like to play for a state title last year. They know what it takes to win the championship and the journey starts Friday.
The game begins at 7 p.m.