HS PREVIEW: Russellville vs. J.O. Johnson

A week ago this game was shaping up as a battle for the top ranking in the state for class 5A, but with Johnson losing to Decatur last week it is now a game to see if Russellville can hold on to the No.2 spot in both the ScoutSouth.com Coaches Poll and ASWA.

Russellville has come out of the gate with a 3-0 start under new head coach Doug Goodwin, and they are looking to move to 4-0 and claim an early season lead in Region 8. The Golden Tigers are led by power running back Mike Abernathy and quarterback Corey Trapp on offense as both are off to a good start in 2007.

Also look for Caleb Mitchell to get some time at wide receiver as well as punt return specialist. Mitchell has yet to break a punt for a touchdown this season, but the speedster had six returns for touchdowns in 2006.

Mitchell will lead the defense from his safety position as well as a strong line backing corps, and tough play on the corners by the Russellville defensive ends. Russellville will try to seal the corners and force everything inside where pursuit has a better chance of containing the speed of Jontavious President and Jimmy Vaughn.

The J.O Johnson Jaguars will counter Russellville's defense with quarterback David Isabelle leading an offense capable of putting up big numbers very quickly. He not only has good skill people in the backfield, but on the edges as well. If Isabelle can get the ball to President on the edge it will no doubt cause some problems for the Russellville defenders.

ScoutSouth.com talked to players from each team throughout the week.

"We aren't working on anything special this week, but we have gone out and tried to correct the problems over the first three games," Jimmy Vaughn stated about game preparation. "We just have to go out and execute on offense. We've been putting the defense in some bad situations over the past three games, and we want to stop doing that."

"We've watched film on Russellville this week, and we feel like No.15 (Caleb Mitchell), the linebackers and one of their defensive ends are very good players. We need to do a good job on everyone, and especially those guys."

"We aren't changing anything for them, we're just going to go play hard. We play hard every week," Michael Abernathy of Russellville said.

Jomarcus Savage echoed the statements of his teammate Jimmy Vaughn when asked about stopping the Russellville offense.

"Hartselle did a good job of getting guys on him (Abernathy) at the line of scrimmage, and we need to do the same thing. We don't want him to get to the secondary," Savage stated.

If you don't have anything to do Friday night ride out to Tiger stadium in Russellville and watch one of the best high school football games of the week, and maybe the season.

ScoutSouth.com--Your source for Alabama high school football.

Class 5A Schedules and Scores

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