“It’s going to be a little bit different for us as far as the itinerary goes,” head coach Anthony Jacks said. “We’re going to probably leave a bit earlier than we normally do. Of course, we’re traveling to the other side of Birmingham, so we’ve got traffic and stuff to deal with. So, it’s going to be a little different just for the sake of: it’s not right up the road or at our stadium. We’ve got a good road trip ahead of us. There are a couple of things that we’ll do outside of the norm, but it shouldn’t be an issue. We should be able to handle it. It’s just making sure your stuff is packed. It’s not like you can just run back down from Childersburg to get your helmet. We’re going to be in Tarrant, so you’re going to be out of luck.”
Comer defeated Tarrant last season 20-7 at home. Last season, was the first meeting between the two schools. According to Jacks, the game was a lot closer than revealed by the final score.
“Actually, all three touchdowns we scored were on fourth down,” Jacks said.
“In the first quarter, we had a 4th-and-1 from about the 31 and we tried to get them to jump offside and they didn’t. We audibled to an option, ended up breaking that, and scored from about 30 yards. We came back in the second quarter, had a 4th-and-2 and we called for a pass and it ended up being wide open. So, it was only 13-7 at the beginning of the fourth quarter. They ended up fumbling the ball down around their 15-yard line in the fourth quarter and we were able to punch it in. We had a 4th-and-goal from the 1 and we were able to get that in. Every touchdown we scored last year was on fourth down. We ended up winning 20-7, but it wasn’t a walk in the park. It was a physical game and a difficult game. I wouldn’t expect anything different. They had a good plan for us last year, so I expect them to be just as good this time.”
Turnovers played a big role in the team’s loss to Childersburg, while penalties drawn by Montevallo helped Comer and offered a mini-snapshot of the team’s defensive performance. The Bulldogs had more penalty yards (103) than offensive yards (94).
The Wildcats are coming off a 50-44 road win against regional opponent Thorsby. They opened the season with a 49-13 loss to 5A’s top-ranked McAdory on the road. This game will be their home opener.
“This week is a different type of team,” Jacks said.
“They scored 50 points last week against Thorsby in regulation, so it wasn’t overtime or anything like that. They put some points on the board. They’ve got two or three athletes now that are really exceptional. They can take it the distance at any time. They’ve got us a little nervous there. We’ve got to tackle well. We’ve got to get a lot of people to the football and we’ve got to do it in the open field on defense. I think that’s going to be a key for us this week: prevent the big play. They’re not a team that plays you down the field. They’re one of those explosive types of teams; they might not get a yard on first and second down, but third down they can break it the whole way. They’re one of those types of teams, so you’re always nervous when you play a team like that.”
Jacks reiterated the importance of the region games, especially early on in order to set the tone for the season.
“This is the most important game of the season because it’s the next one,” Jacks said.
“It’s a region game and we can’t afford to drop any. We’ve got to win the games that we’re capable of winning. We’ve got to have our focus on this game 100 percent. They’re wanting to make the playoffs and we’re the first one on the pecking order as far as being the number four seed last year. They’re 1-0 in the region too and they’re saying ‘If we can win this one, we can get in the playoffs.’ We’re going to get their best shot this week, I guarantee you. We’ve just got to be focused. If we take care of the ball, I really think we’ve got a good shot of winning the game.”