DICKSON — The Dickson Comets have ventured into unchartered space. They are 5-0 for the first time in school football history, and with a win over the Madill Wildcats Friday night, they could move where no Comet has gone before: A perfect 6-0 record to start a football season.
According to Dickson coach Jeremy Reed, a 6-0 start would be important. But a victory over the Wildcats would provide a huge boost to his Comets when it comes to district standings.
"The most important issue right now is that we can move to 3-0 in district play," Reed said. "That is a big deal for us. Although being 5-0 is good from the standpoint of our building on our success week after week, we really need a district win to stay in the playoff hunt. That is one of our main goals for this season. We will have our hands full, because Coach (Milton) Cooper is one of the best coaches around. And we know he will have Madill up for this game against us."
The Comets (5-0 overall, 2-0 in district 3A-4) have been a strong running team in 2013, with an occasional pass from quarterback Chris Bamburg. That gameplan could be challenged, however. Reed believes that won/loss records are no reflection of the Wildcat team Dickson is about to face.
"Madill is a much better team than their record indicates," Reed said. "They have a big physical presence, especially along the offensive and defensive lines. They have good size in their skilled players as well. It is important that we control the line of scrimmage and give our running backs lanes to run through. So far, we have had good success with our gameplan. But we understand the kind of challenge Madill will be for us. We must maintain our offense efficiency and control the ball. That is what has brought us the success we have had thus far. And I believe we will need to stick with what we are best at."
Madill (2-3, 0-2) is in the unfamiliar position of needing a district win in the worst way following losses to Plainview and Purcell the last two weeks. And Cooper is hoping he can make the right adjustments to help the Wildcats capture that first district win this week.
"We really, really need a district win right now," Cooper said. "We need a win a lot more than they do. One of the things we need right now is to play the game with more passion. We have some young players, and we have some upperclassmen that have been a part of winning seasons in years past. We need everyone to step up and play to their full potential. So far we have not been able to do that."
This important district game should be won and lost along the line of scrimmage. The Comets need to run the ball to be successful, and the Wildcats will need to stop the Dickson run in order to gain the upper hand.
"The key for us will be to find a way to keep our offense on the field and their offense on the sidelines," Cooper said. "They have a great ground game, and we must find a way to stop or slow down that attack. The strength of their team appears to be the offensive line. We have to find ways to dominate up front and stop that running game. So much of the game of football is that it is a game of the heart. And we need to pick up our intensity and play with more heart this week."
A close game favors the Comets. Three of their five victories this season have been by seven points or less. And they won a real barn-burner last Friday at Pauls Valley. All eyes will be on Ernest Moore Field Friday for this key district matchup between the Wildcats and the Comets. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.