Russellville and Cullman to meet in semifinal

Russellville Golden Tigers lost to the Hartselle Tigers in their first meeting this season, but Russellville came away with a victory this week, when it counted. Cullman defeated Walker for the second time this season, while Caldwell continues his dominance of defenses.

The Golden Tigers jumped out to a 13-0 lead in the first quarter and held on down the stretch as Hartselle fumbled the game away in the second half. Hartselle fumbled two punts in the second half leaving Russellville with possession of the ball for most of the fourth quarter.

Russellville's Brent Calloway was a big part of the Golden Tiger attack after quarterback Joey Howe went down early with an ankle sprain. Howe did return in the second half. He was limited in his mobility, and never completed another pass.

Calloway rushed for 166 yards and one touchdown on 33 carries as he led the Golden Tigers into the semifinals of Class 5A.

Russellville will face the high-powered offense of the Cullman Bearcats in the next round.

The Bearcats advanced by defeating the Walker Vikings Friday night by a final score of 38-28.

Bearcats' quarterback, Tyler Caldwell continues to show why he is one of the top quarterbacks in the state of Alabama as he finished the contest with 378 yards passing, while completing 22-of-36 attempts. He also had two touchdown passes with his long of 81 yards coming on a short pass to Riley Stewart.

Tyler Caldwell
Stewart broke a tackle and raced 81 yards for the go-ahead score after the Bearcats gave up 21 unanswered second half points. However, the Bearcats did rebound with 10 fourth-quarter points to earn a hard fought victory.

Stewart finished the contest with four receptions for 157 yards and one touchdown. Cullman's Ben Moore rushed for 104 yards and two touchdowns. Moore also reeled in five receptions for 56 yards and a touchdown to lead the scoring for Cullman.

Russellville has won all three of their playoff games by one score, or less. Cullman had a balanced offensive attack over the last two weeks with a rushing attack which finally surfaced for the playoffs.

Russellville will need to play great team defense as they have throughout the playoffs.

The Bearcats will need to be ready for a physical contest when the Golden Tigers hit the field. The injury to the Tiger signal caller (Joey Howe) could loom large if he isn't ready to play.

Brent Calloway
Players to watch in this contest is not short list.

Quarterbacks : Cullman's senior signal caller (Tyler Caldwell, 6-2, 200-pounds) is playing as well as any quarterback in the state. He has several schools looking, but he has yet to land a top division one offer.

Joey Howe could be limited by the ankle injury, but college recruiters are already showing a lot of interest in the 6-4, 215-pound gunslinger.

Running backs : Ben Moore has come on strong in the playoffs, and Cullman will need every yard Moore can muster against the Golden Tiger defense.

Russellville's Brent Calloway is one of the most talented sophomores in the state. He is another player who already has major colleges falling in line to follow him over the next two seasons.

Defense: Cullman is led by a host of solid defenders, but none more important than 6-3, 205-pound, free safety Brian Steele (4.64).

Others to watch include Donnie Parker, a 6-1, 205-pound defensive end, and 6-5, 260-pound defensive end, Jonathan Robertson. Robertson is already receiving early interest from Alabama and Mississippi State.

Jonathan Robertson
Russellville has played tremendous defense throughout the playoffs, but they are led by another college prospect in cornerback Ryan Romans. The Golden Tigers are always a talented bunch on both sides of the ball, and this team is no different.

Stay tuned to as we talk with several players and coaches from each team throughout the week.

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