Vincent falls short in shutout loss to top-ranked B.B. Comer

Published 10:18 pm Thursday, September 21, 2023

By ANDREW SIMONSON | Sports Editor

SYLACAUGA – In a battle of top-six teams in Class 2A between the Vincent Yellow Jackets and B.B. Comer Tigers, it was B.B. Comer that reminded the Jackets why it made the Super 7 last season.

The No. 1 ranked Tigers beat the Jackets, 36-0, on Thursday, Sept. 21 at Legion Stadium in a rematch of last year’s area championship game which Comer won by one point in the final minute.

“At the end of the day, that was a really good team that just beat us,” Vincent coach Lucas Weatherford said. “We didn’t play our best game. We all think it shouldn’t have been like it was, but we’ve got to go back to work, get better the rest of the season and finish like we need to.”

After Vincent punted to open the game, the Jackets got a sack to start the Comer drive, but the Tigers got a first down the next play and drove on to score a short rushing touchdown. Devin Harvey’s score and the ensuing two-point pass made the score 8-0 with under eight minutes to go.

Vincent’s early drives were dominated by run plays, and the opening drive was no different. The Jackets barely missed a 3rd and 6 conversion and were stopped on 4th and 2, turning the ball over on downs to Comer.

From there, all it took was two plays and 65 yards for Comer to score a 31-yard touchdown and go up 16-0 with three-and-a-half minutes to go in the first.

A Jackets return got the ball to the Tigers 40, and got inside the red zone before Casen Fields was just a yard short of a third down conversion and Robertson was stopped on fourth down on the 11-yard line.

“That was the difference in the first quarter, us not finishing drives and them making plays when they had to on third down,” Weatherford said.

Comer ran off nearly half of the clock in the second quarter with a 10-play drive that included multiple third down conversions and a short touchdown run. However, the Jackets got the stop on the conversion and limited Comer’s lead to 22-0.

After returning the ball to the Tigers 45, the Jackets earned a quick first down, but they were stopped on their next four tries after a third down pre-snap penalty forced a situation that Fields could not work his way out of.

Comer then went 52 yards for another touchdown, this time by Richard Weed on the edge to go up 29-0 with under two minutes left in the half.

Vincent was able to get moving with Lane Mims at quarterback on its final drive of the half, but the Jackets still were down four touchdowns going into the halftime break.

Comer received the second half kick and after a 47-yard gain, the Tigers were in position to score a 12-yard touchdown to go up 36-0 four minutes into the third.

Later on in the third quarter, Vincent found itself driving after two first downs from Mims and a solid catch from Fields. With goal to go, however, the Tigers defense held strong and only allowed the Jackets to get to the four-yard line before Vincent turned the ball over on downs early in the fourth quarter.

That proved to be the last trip to the red zone for both teams, as Comer failed to add to the scoring with a missed field goal with 30 seconds left, and the Tigers sealed a 36-0 win.

After the game, Weatherford complimented his defensive front, including Ray Albright, Aiden Gasaway, and Grayson Gulde, the running game, including Rykelus Robertson, Fields and Mims, and the offensive line for playing well despite the loss.

“Our defensive front played hard,” Weatherford said. “I thought we did a good job against their run game. That’s one of the best running backs in the state right there. He’s a D-I player. I thought we did a good job getting after him. He made a couple of runs, which we knew he would, so that was a positive. I thought our offense line blocked their tail off because they lowered the box, we still were able to run the ball some. Our running back made some good runs, our quarterbacks made some good runs. I wish we could have done a little bit more things in the passing game, but, at the end of the day we’re going to go look at the film and get better tomorrow.”

Last year, Vincent won all of its remaining regular season games after the loss to Comer and reached the quarterfinals, and Weatherford said that finishing strong and earning a top seed is still the goal like it was last season after the loss.

“It’s like I just told them, this loss can’t define us,” Weatherford said. “It didn’t define us last year. We still had a strong season, made history. We’ve got to finish out, try to win the rest of our games and try to go host a playoff game. That’s our goal.”

Rykelus Robertson rushed for 121 yards off 22 carries, and Fields’ 41 rushing yards and Mims’ 29 rushing yards gave the Jackets 187 rushing yards on the night. Fields also earned 37 receiving yards after switching over to receiver. Overall, Vincent had 235 yards of total offense.

Vincent drops to 4-1 with the loss and 2-1 in region play. The Jackets will return home to play rival Childersburg on Sept. 29 in their Week 6 matchup.