Jeremy Phillips stated he’s never seen his team click like it did against Randolph County Sept. 17, going all the way back to when he started coaching Horseshoe Bend’s football team in 2019.
The Generals dominated that game 38-8 to pick up their first win of the 2021 season after coming infuriatingly close in prior matchups with Vincent and Fayetteville.
This week presents a new challenge entirely, however. B.B. Comer is coming to town, bringing with it a 4-2 record that features four wins by at least 25 points.
“They’re a solid team,” Horseshoe Bend coach Jeremy Phillips said. “Coach (Adam) Fossett, he does a great job with them up there.”
For Comer, it starts with sophomore running back Kamore Harris.
Despite being an underclassman, the 225-pound Harris has run the ball like a grizzly bear in hot pursuit of a threat to its cubs.
Stats are not available for the Tigers from their most recent game, but across their first five Harris accumulated 927 yards at a 9.8 yard-per-carry clip. He’s dusted off 13 of his runs for touchdowns this year.
He’s got the classic combination of size and speed that defines many great high school backs.
“He’s a haul back there, and once he gets going he has really good speed,” Phillips said. “He’s really good at reading his blocks and hitting the hole. And when he does get hit, he can break tackles. To me that’s the strongest part of his running game is it’s gonna take more than one person to bring him down.”
Comer can mix looks to give him the ball in a variety of ways, most often going from either the spread or an I-formation.
The Tigers go play action from time to time and rely on senior quarterback Devonta Carmichael to push the ball downfield. He collected 371 passing yards and four touchdowns with no interceptions through the air in those five games with no interceptions. He completes just 41 percent of his throws, however.
He’ll rely on junior wide receiver James Carmichael and senior wide receiver Richard Weed when he does air it out. Weed is a 5’4” speedster who can also carry the ball on jet sweeps as a change of pace, which he did three times for 22 yards across Comer’s first five games.
“Offensively they don’t do a lot of different things but they’re really good at what they do,” Phillips said. “They’re a ground-and-pound team, they’ve got a great running back and they’ve got really good size up front to move guys around, then they’ll fake it and take a deep shot. They’ve got some lanky receivers to throw it up to. So it’s gonna be a task for our defense for sure.”
Defensively senior safety Dayleon Welch and senior nose guard Korey Anderson Jr. lead the charge with 14 and 16 tackles, respectively.
It’s a side of the ball where Horseshoe Bend could potentially find some cracks as the Tigers’ defense has surrendered at least 20 points in all but one game this year, even if some came in garbage time in recent weeks.
“Their defensive front is really big and they play extremely hard,” Phillips said. “Their defensive line, linebackers, they bring a bunch of different stunts and line movements. It’s gonna be a tall task for us but I think we’re gonna be prepared for it.”
Horseshoe Bend and Comer kick off at 7 p.m. Thursday in Generals Stadium.