“It’s a huge game for us,” head coach Anthony Jacks said. “We’re 2-0 in the region right now. It’s a region game, so obviously it’s important. It determines who gets in the playoffs. If we get a victory Friday, that’s going to be a huge step forward. That’s three region wins; that’s a huge step forward in getting to the playoffs. Really, all you’ve got to do is get one more somewhere along the line to get in. We definitely want to make the playoffs for the second year in a row.”
Meanwhile, Central-Coosa enters the game with a 1-2 overall record and a 1-1 region record. Central Coosa is coming off a home win against region opponent Thorsby, 24-16.
“They usually play a really good ball game,” Jacks said of Central Coosa. “It’s never an easy win for us. They’ve always got two or three athletes who are good players, fast and have a nose for the football. We know each other well and we know that they want to beat us and they’ve always got some athletes who are really good. That’s a typical Central-Coosa team.”
Comer won last year’s game 25-14, but Jacks said it was a hard-fought game.
“We had a hectic first quarter last year,” Jacks explained. “We had some penalties and had a couple of turnovers by both sides. It was just kind of a whirlwind the first quarter. Once that got out of the way, we kind of settled down and started running the football and controlled the clock pretty well. The score was only 25-14, so it wasn’t like we blew them out or anything. We were just a little more consistent last year and were able to get a couple of big plays. I think that was the difference in the game. We just played well on defense, controlled the clock pretty well and we were able to get touchdowns when we had the opportunity. That was the big difference. They had a couple of opportunities and they weren’t able to convert and we were able to convert all.”
Daniel Caldwell is coming off his second straight performance of rushing for more than 100 yards. Last week was his best performance of the season, finishing with 32 carries for 182 yards and three touchdowns in a region road win against Tarrant 40-32.
“He really carried us the other night,” Jacks said of Caldwell. “We had issues going on with our run game. We just couldn’t get everything figured out, but we were able to hand the ball to him and he really had a great game for us. I thought our line played pretty well up front. They blocked for him. We handed the ball to him six times in a row to ice the game. They knew we were running it, everybody in the whole stadium knew we were going to run the ball, everybody pretty much knew Daniel was going to get it and we were able to run six consecutive run plays and got two first downs to basically end the game. That was huge for us. He had a great week for us. Hopefully, we can have many more out of him just like that.”
Homecoming week at a high school can bring a host of distractions. It has been no exception at Comer, but Jacks feels his players have handled it reasonably well.
“Hopefully, we’ll come out and play well,” Jacks said. “We’ve got to take care of the football. Get lined up correctly on defense. The main thing is just taking care of the football. That’s goal No.1. We can’t go out and beat anyone if we turn the ball over three or four times. That’s going to always be the No.1 goal: take care of the football.”
With this being Comer’s homecoming game, excitement is in the air in Sylacauga.
“You just feel the culture of the kids and the team and the people in the community,” Jacks said. “We kind of expect to win a lot of games now, rather than just hope to. That’s a big deal. We’ve got a lot more support. People come out, excited about the program and want to see it do well. People believe in us and that’s fun to see because you see where you came from and you see where you’re headed.”