“We had three turnovers and a snap over the head,” Comer head coach Anthony Jacks said. “That’s what we talked about: is just not imploding and right there in the first half, it was just one of those deals where everything that could go wrong went wrong. We couldn’t take a handoff. We moved the ball, we had some success and there’s the ball lying on the ground. It’s been a little bit of an Achilles’ heel for us this year when we put the ball on the ground against good teams like this. It just puts you behind the eight-ball. It was 23-0 and that’s such a big hole, we couldn’t overcome that.”
Following the opening safety, Holmes had a strong punt from his own 20-yard line, but Sylacauga was able to return it to the Comer 37-yard line. Later in the drive, Hunter Johns scored from six yards out on an option run to give Sylacauga an 8-0 lead. Colin Shannon’s PAT was good to make it 9-0.
The win gives Sylacauga (7-3) something that hasn’t happened at the school since 1972, during the days of Tom Calvin.
“I’m pleased our kids got a win,” Sylacauga head coach Matt Griffith said. “It’s a 7-3 year for us; we’re going into the playoffs. I’m real proud: these kids have averaged seven wins a year for six straight years, so it’s been a great senior group.”
On their next offensive drive, Comer (6-4) moved the ball to the Sylacauga 33-yard line before fumbling the ball and turning it over to Sylacauga. Keith Pitts caught a 24-yard pass from Johns to set up a 2-yard Ian Floyd rushing touchdown. Shannon had a successful PAT to boost the Aggies lead to 16-0.
Another Comer turnover, this one an interception by Sylacauga’s Bryan McGinnis, was converted into points for the Aggies. Brooks Jackson scored on a pitch from Johns from 32 yards out. Shannon again hit the PAT to make it 23-0.
Comer fumbled the ball again and it almost turned into more points for Sylacauga, but the touchdown was nullified by a penalty against the Aggies. Shannon missed a field goal with the ball placed on the left hash mark at the 14-yard line before halftime.
Hunter Johns connected with Donterrio Story for a 30-yard touchdown to up the lead to 29-0. Shannon’s PAT was unsuccessful.
Comer got on the scoreboard on their next offensive drive. Jordan Butler hauled in a pass from Tyler Holmes and took it to the 3-yard line before being tackled for a 67-yard reception. Daniel Caldwell punched it in from 3 yards out for the touchdown and ran in a successful two-point conversion as well, making it 29-8.
“You can’t beat anybody giving up four turnovers,” Jacks said. “To be two scores down at the end of the game, we actually were in the game and had a chance to win. That says a lot for our kids to fight back. We’ve just got to stop being our worst enemy.”
B.B. Comer’s defense was able to help the Tigers put more points on the board. With Sylacauga at their own 25-yard line, the team tried to punt, but the punt was blocked and Nate Williams received the deflected ball and, with some help from his teammates, managed to run the ball into the end zone for a touchdown. It was the first career touchdown for the senior offensive lineman. Dylan McClure’s 2-point conversion attempt failed to make it 29-14.
“I don’t know how Nate got in there,” Jacks said. “I just saw a big pile of gold moving toward the goal line and the referee threw his hands up, so I said ‘That’s a good thing.’ That was a huge play for us. I’m proud of Nate, being a senior and that was a big play. There are actually a lot of positives to take away from this ball game. That was a great game for the city of Sylacauga. I think Comer-Sylacauga just played a great game. Even though they won, hopefully that’s a sign of the future: that we can be competitive in this ball game. I’m proud of the kids; I wish we had played better in the first half.”
Griffith said his team showed great focus this week, solely concentrating on getting a win against B.B. Comer and not looking ahead toward the playoffs next week.
“I told Jimmy Dale this morning and I’ll tell The Daily Home: we don’t do that,” Griffith said. “We never look past anybody. We have not watched film on Valley; we’ve watched nothing but B.B. Comer. The reason why is if you do that a team is going to slip up on you because you’re not prepared. The one thing I won’t ever do and this staff won’t ever do is we’re never going to take anybody for granted. We’re going to be as prepared as we can get our kids each game.”
Sylacauga will travel to play at Valley next week, their first round playoff opponent. B.B. Comer will travel to Dale Co. next week for their matchup for the first round of the playoffs. It is the second straight year both Sylacauga-city teams have qualified for the playoffs.