Montevallo is one of the four teams in Comer’s region that missed the playoffs last season and figures to enter this contest eager to reverse the outcome to last season’s game.
“This game is the most important game we’ve played all year, number one because it’s the next game and number two it is a region game,” Jacks said. “I also stressed to them (his team), I said ‘Look, these guys felt like we stole it from them last year.’ We came back and won the ball game after they were up two touchdowns the second half. They want to win this game badly and they think that they can beat us. This is one of their goals: ‘Who do we have to beat to make the playoffs? Well, it’s Comer.’ We’ve got to play well Friday because we’re going to get their best shot. We got our tails whipped last week. They’re watching that film and thinking ‘Hey, we’ve got to go out and try to beat these guys.’ So, we’ve got to come ready to play.”
The Bulldogs opened their season with a 41-0 loss while hosting Fultondale. Despite the score, Jacks cautioned that Montevallo, coached by former Alabama quarterback Andrew Zow, has an offense that presents a unique challenge.
“They’re very athletic; they’ve got some good playmakers that can take it the distance any time,” Jacks said. “They are fast. They run a spread-Wing T offense, which is very difficult to line up to is the main thing. They don’t necessarily do anything extraordinary out of it, but they can get you outnumbered if you’re not careful. It just presents a problem to your kids. They’ve got to be able to recognize very minor differences in formations that make a difference in alignment. That’s the main worry that we have going into this week is making sure that we get lined up correctly because they do some things that are a little different that we won’t see very often.”
Meanwhile, the Tigers were done in by turnovers in a 38-0 defeat at Childersburg. Jacks believes his team got too emotional because of the nature of it being a rivalry game.
“We know that that wasn’t us last week,” Jacks said. “We know that we can play a lot better than that. Obviously, our number one goal is no turnovers. I think more than anything else it what was mentally everybody knows it’s been a while since we won that game. I think it’s a case of kids trying to do too much; when you try to do much and try to make things happen, you tend to forget sometimes about fundamentals, like how to hold the football. Besides the fumbles, when we did get the ball offensively we had mental errors on our first seven plays, just people not doing things that they really know how to do—they just weren’t doing them. That just compounds the fact that we were playing a rivalry game; everybody wants to do real well, they want to do their best and they want to win so bad that they forget that it takes more than emotion to win the game.”
Jacks said not turning the ball over this week is high on his priority list for this week.
“Our number one goal the whole time is going to be: do not turn the football over,” he said. “I don’t want any turnovers. We turned the ball over enough last week for the entire year. We don’t need to turn the ball over any in this game. If we do that, that will give us a chance to win.
The fourth year head coach noted that his team will also have to do a better job on defense. Last week, the Tigers allowed 330 yards of offensive to Childersburg.
“We need to play better defensively—get ourselves lined up and stop the big plays from happening. We have to keep our composure when things go bad or good, we need to be able to fight through whatever happens and play the next play. If we take care of those things, we’ll have a great opportunity to win the game. Whenever we don’t, things like last week can happen. We’ve been working really hard and we’ve stressed a lot this week to do those things. Our kids are ready to get back on the field. We’ve got a bad taste in our mouth. We’ve had to wait a whole week with that bad taste in our mouth, so we’re chomping at the bit to get back out there and get that turned around.”