Golden Tigers travel to Colbert County as Indians battle for playoff positioning
Even though Russellville has clinched a home game during the first round of the state football playoffs, tonight's game against Colbert County still has playoff implications.
The Indians are tied for first in their region with Elkmont and West Morgan. Defeating Russellville could be the difference in a region title or a first-round road game.
"They are not going to lay down for us," Russellville coach Doug Goodwin said. "Talent wise, they are more like a 5A team than a 3A team."
Goodwin said the Indians have speedy running backs and an efficient quarterback on offense. Defensively, Colbert County has big players with quite a bit of speed.
Goodwin warned his team about the dangers of not taking the game seriously. He told them to think about how it would feel to be a 5A school that lost to a 3A school.
The Indians have already proved they can scare a team from a higher classification this season. During the fifth week of the season they lost to Deshler by only five points.
More impressive, Colbert County only allowed the high-powered Deshler offense to score one touchdown in the 7-2 loss.
Colbert County also defeated Class 5A Muscle Shoals 47-0 during the opening week of the season.
"I try to be honest if somebody doesn't have a good team, but if we are playing a good school I tell (the players)," Goodwin said. "Hopefully they'll take it to heart."
The Golden Tiger defense will have to play well to shut down the Indians potent offense. Colbert County is averaging 30.4 points per game and have scored at least 40 points four times this season.
The Indians defense has also been strong, giving up less than 10 points per contest and shutting out two opponents while holding four other opponents to only seven points.
"We'll have to play well if we want to win," Goodwin said.
In addition to the playoff importance, this game will be the renewal of a long-time rivalry.
Both teams met every season from 1953-99 before taking a five-year break and resuming in 2004-05. During that time the Golden Tigers rolled up a 34-19-1 record against the Indians.
Five of those games include playoff games. Russellville is 4-1 in playoffs against Colbert County including a 13-6 victory in the state championship game in 1967.