McKenzie High head football coach Wade Comer is glad to see his team play better football than it did when it started the season.
The Rebels started the season with a disappointing loss at Dyer County.
Since then, McKenzie has played undefeated football as the Rebels carry a 3-1 record into their game against Adamsville this week.
The Cardinals are also 3-1, so both teams know the other can play some quality football.
Comer said his team’s increased level in play is in large part to older players stepping up and taking ownership of the blocking duties up front.
“I said before the season that we needed someone to step up and be a leader, because that was the difference between last year’s team and the ones before it that maybe hadn’t performed as well as we like to see our teams do around here,” Comer said. “We need that great leadership to tell the younger guys, ‘This is how we’re supposed to do things, and it’s how we’re going to do them.’
“Some guys have done that in the last few weeks, and you can tell a difference.”
Now that the line has stepped up and the young crop of receivers have begun to fulfill their role on the team, the players in the backfield like quarterback Jack Surber and running back Eric Robinson are able to do what they’ve been doing well for more than a full season now.
“Jack is getting more comfortable now with those receivers, and everybody understands their role within our offense,” Comer said. “Now we’ve just got to try to keep that going against a very good team we’re playing against this week.”
Adamsville comes in as probably the biggest team Comer said McKenzie will play up front on both sides of the ball. He said seeing what Cardinals running back Laderrick Means did at Baldwyn, Miss., last week (three rushing touchdowns and more than 200 yards gained on the ground) means the Rebels’ defense has got to be ready to stop a good team.
“The season is still pretty young, but there’s a lot riding on this game,” Comer said. “We know they will be ready because [Brandon Gray] has done a great job with that program.
“Hopefully we’ll be ready for them too.”
Brandon Shields, 425-9751