B.B. Comer landed the first punch in Friday's AHSAA Class 2A championship game matchup with Fyffe. The Red Devils did what they do best after that. They methodically wore down the Tigers in what turned into a 40-28 Fyffe victory at Jordan-Hare Stadium.
Fyffe celebrated its sixth state championship in the past nine seasons and its sixth undefeated season in that span. Legendary head coach Paul Benefield has 336 career wins.
The first punch was a 67-yard touchdown run by standout junior running back Kamore Harris with less than four minutes elapsed on the clock. The Tigers added a two-point conversion to take the 8-0 lead. By the end of the first quarter, Fyffe had a 19-8 lead.
B.B. Comer crawled back to within three points on a 44-yard pass from Devin Harvey to Richard Weed and another two-point conversion. Fyffe built the lead back to 26-16 at halftime. Brodie Hicks had three first-half touchdowns on the ground, and Ryder Gibson had the other.
So, what words of wisdom did Benefield have for his team at halftime?
"I told the guys to rest and get a lot of Gatorade and water. I never really say much at halftime," Benefield said.
In the second half, Fyffe's strategy was to hand the ball to Hicks, who had an elevated role because of the absence of Logan Anderson. A knee injury suffered in the semifinals against Pisgah kept Anderson, a sophomore standout with more than 2,000 yards rushing, out of the championship game.
Hicks carried the ball 45 times for 235 yards with a Class 2A championship game record five touchdowns.
"We knew we had to run between the tackles. That's Brodie's strong point," Benefield said. "He sucked it up in that 4th quarter and made great runs."
B.B. Comer hung in until the end but never trimmed the lead to single digits. The Tigers scored second-half touchdowns on an 8-yard run by Tristan Garrett and a 3-yard run by Harris (20 carries, 180 yards).
Afterward, B.B. Comer head coach Adam Fossett spoke fondly of a team that got the Tigers back in the championship game for the first time since 1995 and only the second time in school history.
"I would like to talk about how proud I am of this program and the guys in the locker room," said Fossett, whose team's roster has just six seniors and 11 juniors. "At the end of the day, I will take these guys back home and tell them we love them. This program is in good shape, and it's where I want to be and where the coaches want to be."
To connect with the author of this story, or to comment, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Don't miss out! Subscribe to our newsletter and get our top stories every weekday morning.