ScoutSouth.com: Madison vs. Russellville

The Madison Tigers will host the Golden Tigers from Russellville Friday night, and the game promises a tough contest for both squads. Madison's Coach Joel Poole discussed this week's game with ScoutSouth.com.

The Madison Tigers come in to this week's contest with a 10-1 record and a quarter-final berth on the line. The Tigers lost only once this season to Fort Payne, the very team that took Russellville to the last play of the game in round one of the Alabama Class 5A, playoffs.

Coach Joel Poole shares his thoughts on the upcoming match.

"We have to control their running game to have a chance in this game," Coach Poole said from the Madison football complex.

"21 (Brent Calloway) is a good looking running back, they have a big quarterback (Joey Howe) that throws the ball well, and he's hard to bring down. Although they operate out of the spread they seem to run the ball a little more than they throw it, and they do it well."

"We will also need to play better on offense. We have kind of sputtered along the past three or four weeks. We need to have a good game from our offense, limit turn over's, and cause some turn over's."

"We also need to cut down on the number of penalties we have been making recently. We have had entirely too many penalties, and that is one reason we have sputtered on offense," Coach Poole explained.

"This game will be a major challenge for our team. I am always telling my kids they are the haves, and have-nots of the world, and we are working at becoming one of the better programs."

"We are trying to keep up with our growth as we are just barely a 5A school, and you have Russellville that is an established program in 5A football. When we stepped up from 4A to 5A this season the kids really didn't know what to expect, but they have responded well, and they have worked hard to get where they are. I'm very excited and pleased for them," Coach Joel Poole commented.

Coach Poole also talked about the advantages of hosting the game instead of having to travel to Russellville.

"You always like to believe playing in front of the home crowd is an advantage with the crowd excitement, and we hope it helps us. I'm just excited to have neutral officials for the playoffs," Poole chuckled.

"We know it's going to be tough, and we have the weather that is supposed to be raining, or whatever, but a very wise coach once told me, ‘once you get in the playoffs anything can happen.' We will just have to see what happens," Coach Joel Poole concluded.

Players to watch : T.J. Gurley plays quarterback for the Madison Tigers, and he has passed for more than 1,600 yards this season, while rushing for over 1,000 yards. Gurley has scholarship offers from Tennessee State and Alabama A & M. He also has UAB and Tennessee Tech showing strong interest.

Brandon Day is one of two defensive ends being recruited. Vanderbilt and Middle Tennessee State are both considering Day. He has visited Vanderbilt twice this season.

Tim Pruitt plays the opposite end from Day, and he has offers from Tennessee State and Alabama A & M.

Jason Smith has 948 yards receiving from his wide receiver position, and he is headed to Birmingham Southern to continue his playing career.

Defensive tackle, Kevin Bailey will follow Smith to Birmingham Southern where he will play his college football.

Madison will host Russellville Friday night at 7:00 PM.

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