Coaches: Ground game key

By Staff
Charles Prince, Hartselle Enquirer
Rarely do opposing head coaches agree on anything. This time they do. Both Austin's David Norwood and Hartselle's Bob Godsey think the ground game will be the deciding factor in this week's match-up.
"I think the biggest factor for us to come out with a win is to stop their running game," Norwood said. "(Justin) Youngblood is an impressive back. We need to find a way to limit the yards he gets. If he's able to have some long runs against us, we may be in trouble."
"We need to run the ball well to beat Austin," Godsey said.
"If we can run, that opens up the other things we like to do."
Norwood has some reservations about how the Black Bears offensive front may perform in the season opener.
"Our O-line is not battle tested," Norwood said. "That's the unknown. We've got some new starters up front and we'll just have to see how they do. Playing well in a game is different from playing well in practice."
Godsey believes Austin presents a large challenge for his Tigers.
"They are one of the more athletic teams we play," Godsey said. "Plus they didn't play a jamboree, so there are a lot of unknowns for us. We know what Norwood has done in the past (at Gardendale High) from having played against his teams in the playoffs. But, I'm sure he'll change some things to fit his personnel at Austin. I think it's going to be a game of many adjustments for us."
Norwood said it's important for his team to come in ready to play, because he's convinced Hartselle will be.
"I don't have any doubt that Hartselle will be up for Austin," Norwood said. "When I played at Hartselle we got up for Austin. Yea, they'll be ready for us I'm sure of it."
Godsey has two areas he would like to see his Tigers improve over last week's jamboree.
"First, we need to play better in space on defense," Godsey said. "We have to do a better job of open field tackling. Second, we need to protect the ball better. We had two turnovers in the first half last week. We can't give the ball away twice and expect to beat Austin."

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