Comets look to keep it rolling against Sulphur

Beau Bearden
bbearden@gannett.com

It’s never easy for a squad to experience setbacks during a season, but sometimes the difficulties can build character down the road.

The Dickson High School football team can agree with that, especially because a rough start to the 2020 season hasn’t created tension on the field or caused any unfixable problems.

“For the most part, the kids have been pretty positive throughout the weeks in practice and understanding the task that they have to go out and do,” said Comets head coach Steve Day. “Their attitudes have generally been pretty good all year. There hasn’t been a whole lot of finger pointing and things like that. They’ve played hard, they’ve practice hard and they’ve prepared well.”

And that unity paid off last week when Dickson went on the road and knocked off Little Axe for its first district win of the year. However, the victory didn’t guarantee the Comets could advance to the postseason with a 1-6 overall record and a 1-3 mark in District 3A-2.

That changed Tuesday when the OSSAA created a “play-in round” for the 2020 postseason, which makes the final three regular season games hold meaning for a playoff seed.

Dickson looks to make progress in that goal when it hosts Sulphur at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 23. The Bulldogs enter the matchup looking to bounce back after their first district loss to Kingston last week.

And the setback was a tough one as Sulphur (4-3, 3-1 District 3A-2) also lost starting quarterback Reese Ratchford to a leg injury.

“Obviously you don’t wish an injury like that on anybody, especially a guy like that,” Day said. “He’s a good kid. … But he’s got another year, so he can finish out his high school career the right way.”

Many teams would be in a tough spot without their signal caller, but the Bulldogs have someone to step up and fill the void.

“Sulphur’s backup that they put in last week is actually a senior — TJ Todd,” Day said. “He’s a starter on a defense. He throws it well. They look a little bit different with him at quarterback, at least they did in the last game.”

Todd isn’t the only one the Comets will have to stop though.

Sulphur’s Logan Smith has racked up a number of yards on the ground this season and that has Dickson’s attention.

“That kid can go, so we have to be able to contain him and wrap him up,” Day said. “Our whole motto this week has been, ‘Never assume he’s down.’ We’re going to try to get all 11 guys to the ball, get there quickly and get him wrapped up and get him on the ground.”

The Comets are also focused on protecting the ball when they’re on offense, but they know they have one thing in their favor.

“You like that old momentum is on our side a little bit,” Day said. “We had some things go our way (last week), but we still can’t turn the ball over.”