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Big Game Friday Night Game of the Week Preview: Russellville at Hartselle

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Russellville and Hartselle may compete in different divisions, but one thing they share is respect for each other.

"They're a really good 5A team. They would be playoff team in 6A, too," Hartselle Head Coach Bryan Moore said.

These two top-10 powerhouses face off Friday. Historically, Russellville has the edge, winning 70% of their matchups. But the Tigers haven't let up on anyone this season, out-scoring the opposition 147 to 35.

"You know, I really feel like this game last year changed our whole season," Russellville Head Coach John Ritter said. "They beat us good. That's what we get by playing them, expose some things."

A measuring stick is exactly what Ritter wants for his team at the halfway point of the season.

"We made changes last year after playing them, and it helped us win a playoff game, helped us get to the quarterfinal," Ritter said.

The Golden Tigers coach said the key to a victory this year is playing clean.

"Really focus on taking care of the football and tackling play makers in space," Ritter said.

With three rivalry games under Hartselle's belt already, Moore said his team can't let up now.

"We really wanna keep our nose down week to week, practice to practice. I know that's cliché, but it's true," Moore said.

Friday's game kicks off 7 p.m. in Hartselle.