Rivalry game has extra meaning for Russellville and Muscle Shoals

Every high school football team has its hated rival.

For Russellville it is Muscle Shoals. Muscle Shoals feels the same way about the Golden Tigers.

When the two teams clash Friday night, it will be one of the most meaningful games in the history of the series — the winner will assert itself as the best in Class 5A, Region 8.

Both squads are undefeated in region play and with only two games remaining for both teams, the winner of this game is the likely region champion.

Russellville head coach Doug Goodwin said his teams’ biggest concern is getting a playoff berth and playing at home in the opening round.

“They don’t give you anything for being the region champion. The second place team also gets a home game in the first round,” Goodwin said before explain the real motivation of his team. “The biggest thing is to beat them because they are Muscle Shoals.”

Russellville leads the all-time series 33-14 and has a 10-game winning streak, including a pair of shutout victories last year.

In fact the Golden Tigers have shutout the Trojans in 10 of the last 12 quarters the two teams have played.

Goodwin said that the win streak and recent dominance of the defense has no bearing on this season.

He said Muscle Shoals has improved quite a bit since he arrived in Russellville and the Golden Tigers cannot take them lightly.

“You can’t just show up and beat them anymore. You have to show up and play well,” Goodwin said.

The Trojan defense is bigger along the line and much more aggressive than the unit that took the field last year. Muscle Shoals is allowing 10.5 points per game.

The Golden Tiger defense will also have a tough challenge this week. Goodwin said the Trojans are much faster on offense than they were last season, which is why they are averaging 27.8 points per game.

Calloway named to All-Star roster

The Alabama High School Athletic Association announced Tuesday that Russellville’s Brent Calloway has been selected to participate in the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Game  Dec. 11 at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile.

“It is a great honor. Of all the players in Alabama I was picked as one of the [40] to play in the game,” Calloway said.

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