It appeared the edge would go to Montevallo after Comer’s offense fumbled away the opening possession on the first play, but Montevallo surrendered the ball back on a quick three-and-out drive.
From there, halfback Tay McElrath scored the Tigers first touchdown of the night on a four-yard run, concluding an 11-play drive that chewed nearly five minutes off the clock. Halfback Chris Lynch converted the two-point conversion to give Comer an 8-0 lead over Montevallo.
Montevallo quarterback Cortez Williams struggled to make plays in the Bulldogs’ spread offense, leading his squad on another three-and-out.
On the Tigers’ next possession, Tigers quarterback Tyler Holmes followed up a 31-yard pass to tight end Jaylun Thomas with a 31-yard run to the left corner of the end zone. Fullback Daniel Caldwell converted the two-point conversion, extending Comer’s lead over Montevallo, 16-0, with 47 seconds left in the first quarter.
Williams completed an eight-yard pass to running back William Inabinett to set up a third-and-1 play from their own 37 yard line, but a three-yard loss by running back Undraez Lilly forced a third consecutive three-and-out.
Holmes added his second score of the night on a 10-yard run. Caldwell punched in his second two-point conversion of the night, making the score 24-0 in favor of the Tigers.
After incurring a penalty on back-to-back kick returns, Montevallo surrendered the ball to Comer on a fumble.
Three plays later, Caldwell would score his first touchdown of the night on a three-yard run. The two-point attempt failed, but Comer held a commanding lead 30-3
The Tigers’ short kickoff resulted in a fumble recovered by the kicking team. The Tigers failed to capitalize by going three-and-out for the first time in the game.
A bad snap on the punt play recovered by Comer for a loss of 34 yards gave the Bulldogs the best starting field position of the night. Two plays later with just over three minutes left in the first half, Lilly carried the ball on an 18-yard run that gave Montevallo their first first-down of the game.
The drive quickly went south as the Bulldogs found a way to turn a first-and-goal from the 3-yard line into a fourth-and-16. Kicker Diego Martinez nailed a 33-yard field goal to give the Bulldogs their lone score of the game, but the Tigers kept the lead, 30-3.
Bulldogs backup quarterback Zachary Oden came off the bench in relief of Williams, but the struggles continued as his first three plays resulted in a sack, an interception and a completion on his next drive for -2 yards.
Caldwell and McElrath would each add another touchdown for the Tigers in the third quarter before giving way to the backups to finish out the game.
The Tigers’ Holmes efficiently ran the wishbone and I-formation offense throughout the first three quarters of play, amassing 71 rushing yards on seven carries with two touchdowns and going 3-for-5 through the air for 56 yards.
Caldwell lead the Tigers in rushing on 14 carries for 90 yards with a pair of touchdowns.
“Obviously we weren’t happy last week,” Tigers head coach Anthony Jackson said. “It felt like we were kind of pressing too much and we just didn’t feel like ourselves. We came back and said, ‘Let’s just be who were are — line up and run our offense, take our time and execute better.’ Tonight we just wanted to come out, run right at them and see if they could handle it. I was proud of the way our line blocked up front and our backs ran hard tonight. We have a lot of things to work on, but overall we took a big step forward tonight (on both sides of the football).”
The Bulldogs’ struggles in all three phases of the game seemed to be further compounded by penalties. The 103 yards assessed against the team from 10 penalties amounted to more yardage than the 94 yards mustered by the offense.
The loss drops Montevallo to 0-2.
“Nothing clicked,” Bulldogs head coach Andrew Zow said. “There was no energy and no focus. It started earlier in the day. We were not focused for this game. We thought we were prepared and had a decent week, but things did not go our way tonight. I think it snowballed on us early. We got down early and offensively, we just couldn’t get anything going. Up front, we’ve got some work to do, we’ve got to battle the injury bug and we’ve got to get in better shape.”
Contact Shane Dunaway at firstname.lastname@example.org