“I think everybody knows Leeds,” B.B. Comer head coach Anthony Jacks said. “When you say Leeds, you think one of the best teams in the state. They’ve dropped a couple of games this year, but they’re still very good, a very well-coached team. They’re going to be tough on defense every year. They’re going to be smash-mouth on offense. It’s not one of those deals where they’re not trying to trick you or anything like that. It’s just going to be: here it is, can you come and get it, and can you stop us? It’s kind of refreshing in a way, but at the same time if you get into one of those types of games, it can be kind of scary because there isn’t anything else. It’s just going to be four quarters of pounding. You hope you can hold up against something like that.”
Comer enters the game having won four straight games to give them a 4-1 overall record and a 3-0 region record. The Tigers spoiled Winterboro’s homecoming last week by cruising to a 32-6 win against the Bulldogs. While the Tigers may not have formally made the ASWA top ten poll, they did crack the top 20 for teams receiving at least one vote.
“We want to keep the momentum going,” Jacks said. “The kids understand where we are. They really want to achieve a little bit more. That’s what we talked about: we feel good about the playoff situation right now, but we want to do a little bit more than last year. We don’t want to come in and cruise and have the same record. We want to make some movement, so it’s a good opportunity for us. Leeds is always a good team. If you want to be the best, you’ve got to beat the best. Right now, they’re a team that’s one of the best in our region. They’re our opponent this week, so we really want to give them our best shot.”
Comer loss last season’s game 35-7 at home. Jacks believes mistakes proved to be costly late in the game, as the team trailed 7-0 at halftime before Leeds gained a decisive lead in the second half.
“They scored on three trick plays on us in the second half,” Jacks said. “They had a drive and ended up scoring. We fumbled on a kickoff and gave them a short field. They punched it in and made it 21-0. We ran the kickoff back to make it 21-7. They scored on a fake field goal and they ran a reverse and scored on us. We played well in the game. We didn’t have much offensively. We held the ball a little bit, but never could get any big plays or anything. We stood up well with them defensively for the most part until we just kind of got tired at the end. We turned the ball over at our own end and kind of hurt ourselves. We feel like we can match up with them; we just can’t hurt ourselves like we did in the game last year.”
One major difference in this year’s Comer squad is more options at running back.
“We feel like our depth at running back is real good compared to last year when we just had Caleb (Duffee) at fullback and that was about our only option,” Jacks said. “Caleb or Tyler(Jackson) and that was about it. I think that helps us be a little bit more diverse offensively. We’ve got a little bit more depth and when you’ve got guys who can make plays with the ball in their hands it always makes your job a little bit easier. Dylan McClure has played well for us, Chris Lynch has had a big game for us, Martayvous (McElrath) had some good runs, and Daniel (Caldwell) at fullback has had some big runs for us. We feel pretty good about our running back position. We’ve just got to be more consistent. We’ve got to block a little better sometimes—our backs. The line has played pretty well all year long.”
Caldwell had 182 yards rushing and three touchdowns to key the team’s 40-32 win against Tarrant. Lynch had a breakout game with three rushing touchdowns against Central Coosa. McClure and McElrath both had big games last week against Winterboro. McClure had four rushing touchdowns, while McElrath had the longest touchdown of the night with a 44-yard run. The Tigers will need one or more of them to have strong games to avoid the lack of offense seen in last year’s game.
If practice is any indication, the Tigers are well aware of the importance of this week’s road contest.
“We’ve been real crisp in practice this week,” Jacks said. “It’s kind of like when you’ve got a really big game, you don’t have to get your guys to be focused. They all know what’s going on Friday. It doesn’t have to be where you feel like you have to get your team up. They’re ready to go. I think everybody will be excited when Friday gets here. We’re just ready to go play and ready to go see what happens.”
B.B. Comer travels to play Leeds Friday at 7 p.m.