Decatur arrives in Russellville sporting a 5-1 record after losing their season opener to 6A Huntsville 34-14, an opponent who remains undefeated in their classification. The Red Raiders are unbeaten in region play.
Decatur peeled off five straight since opening night with wins over Hartselle (31-14), J.O. Johnson (30-20), Athens (25-7), 6A Sparkman (19-13) and last week's victim West Point (42-0).
Russellville has played some tight games, but managed to come out the victor in all six of the contests. The first victim was 4A Deshler in overtime (34-28) with the next five opponents of Brewer (47-10), Hartselle (14-0), J.O. Johnson (30-23/OT), 6A Austin (24-21) and Athens (14-10).
The Golden Tigers have an elite group of players with running back Michael Abernathy as the biggest threat to teams preparing to stop the run. The 5-11, 235-pounder has several college coaches offering the big prospect an opportunity to play on Saturdays in 2008.
"Michael Abernathy is big, strong, fast and has great hands. He is very physically talented and played well for us in the first three games, but has been injured the past three weeks and is questionable for this week as well," coach Goodwin explained.
"Cory Trapp has done a really good job at QB. Defensively, Torey Baird LB, Josh James LB, Ryan Romans CB and Jacob Daniel SS have all played really well."
Caleb Mitchell (6-0, 175) is a safety prospect who is getting his fair share of college attention as well along with Korey Suggs.
"Caleb Mitchell is very talented also," Goodwin said. "He is fast, has great hands and is a big hitter on defense. He has done a great job on both sides of the ball as well as returning kicks."
"Kory Suggs has started to get a lot of attention as of late. He has played outstanding on defense so far this season."
As the first year head coach in Russellville Goodwin understands what it takes with any game next on the schedule.
"We've prepared for Decatur in the same manner that we prepare for all of our games, film study, scouting reports and practice," he said. "If everyone is healthy, then I think that we match up well, although it's always hard to tell for sure when you haven't seen a team in person."
Look for some underclassmen to make some noise for the Golden Tigers as well.
"Players who have a chance to play after high school include: Stratt Byars Jr. OT, Ryan Romans So. DB/WR, Jake Ward So. DB/QB/WR, Demorian Abernathy Jr. DL, Bradley Franklin Jr. OT and Evan Fergerson So. FB/DE," Goodwin stated.
The temperature is cooler and finally feels like Fall has arrived. Friday night football at its finest this week and don't miss a minute of the action.
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