Golden Tigers ready for pesky Jags
The Russellville football team holds a 4-2 all-time record against J.O. Johnson, but the Jaguars have been a thorn in the Golden Tigers' side in recent games.
In 2006, Russellville won the regular season game by three points. Johnson got its revenge in the state quarterfinals with a 19-14 victory over the Golden Tigers.
It culminated last year with Russellville's 30-23 overtime win.
The Jaguars threatened to end the Golden Tigers' 43-game win streak in region play by holding a 23-14 lead with less than 10 minutes remaining in the game.
A Johnson miscue on special teams led to a safety and Russellville added a late touchdown to complete the nine-point rally and send the game to overtime.
This year's game could be a much different contest.
While Russellville is rolling through its region schedule, Johnson has struggled this year.
The Jaguars are 2-4 overall and 2-3 in region play. Their only wins came against lowly Lee and Butler. Their once high-powered offense has sputtered this season and is averaging only 14.7 points per game.
Even though the Jaguars are struggling to put points on the board, they should not be taken lightly.
The Golden Tigers struggled in the second half against Muscle Shoals last week, failing to score in the second half.
Johnson is a more talented team than Muscle Shoals and a poor performance on offense or defense could lead to a long night for the Golden Tigers.
With a win, Russellville will be one win away from clinching its ninth-consecutive playoff berth.
A win will also keep the Golden Tigers on pace for a home game in the first round of the state playoffs.
If Russellville wins tonight and defeats East Limestone at home next week it will improve to 5-1 in region play.
Athens is favored to win tonight at Lee and to also defeat Butler. If the Golden Eagles win those games, they would also be 5-1 in the region.
That would set up a showdown between Athens and Russellville for second place in the region during the final week of region play. The top two teams in the final region standings host first-round playoff games.