Week 1 Preview: Velma-Alma at Comanche - KSWO, Lawton, OK- Wichita Falls, TX: News, Weather, Sports. ABC, 24/7, Telemundo -

Week 1 Preview: Velma-Alma at Comanche

Some football teams wait a few weeks or even an entire season to meet an arch rival. For two area teams, they kick the season off with their annual grudge match.


Week one of the high school football season will kick off the same way it always does in Stephens County, with a showdown between Velma-Alma and Comanche.


"Always a great game. Always a great thing to have them first, which they talk about it all the time around here. How that's week one, it's a Thursday night game,” said Micah Mashburn, Comanche Head Coach. “Nobody else is playing, so everybody is here, even from Duncan and Marlow. So they come out and watch this game. Great game, great atmosphere."


Like all good rivalries, there's no love lost between the Comets and Indians.


"I don't like Comanche that much. Not trying to be mean or anything, but they don't like us and we go out there and play and go and compete. And they come to compete so I think it adds to that rivalry," said Dathan Speith, Velma-Alma Senior Offensive Lineman/Linebacker.


Velma-Alma has gotten the upper hand in each of the last two years. The Comets return the bulk of their starters in 2015, including an experienced offensive line and a dynamic duo in the backfield that will be very difficult for opponents to stop.


"We feel like our backfield is extremely talented. Could be as good as they want to be and as good as anybody in Class A I feel like with Shiloh Womack and then our quarter back Jake Combest. That's why we went to the offense that we're running, so we can get the ball in their hands each and every snap," said Colt Allison, Velma-Alma Head Coach.


The Comets were able to put their talent to the test in fall camp with a couple of preseason scrimmages, including one against a Davis team that happens to be one of Oklahoma's top programs, regardless of class.


"You know, Davis is back-to-back state champions and number one in 2A and I thought we were as physical as Davis was in our second scrimmage with Wayne and Marietta,” said Allison. “I thought we set the tone with how physical we were at the beginning of the scrimmage and carried that out through the remainder of it. So just the effort, we were pleased with the effort and the physicality of our players was tremendous."


On the other side, Comanche is looking to snap a two game losing streak in the series. In order to do that, they'll have to rely on a talented group of skill position players, especially in their secondary.


"I believe that our secondary has the capability of being really good this year,” said Mashburn. “We're still a little fresh on what we're doing. It's a new scheme, but their starting to see things a little bit faster. Once we get those things down, they're going to be really solid. Be able to stop the run and the pass."


"I'd say our running back team is really deep. Got a lot of depth there. And our defensive backs and all that, we just got to learn the coverages a little bit better," said Ryan Aker, Comanche Senior Running Back/Safety.


Offensively the Indians are hoping the return of Aker will help boost their running game. The junior running back was sidelined for the entire 2014 season.


"I can't say enough about him. Last year he didn't get to play, had a shoulder injury that kept him out for almost a year. So, he helped last year. He was at every practice. Was in the press box on Friday night games. We're lucky to have him back. He's a great runner, really smooth. Does a great job in the secondary," said Mashburn.


If you're looking for an early key to this game, how about the very first play? The Comets have scored on the opening kick-off in each of the last two years. So fans better find their seats early because this one could get exciting in a hurry.

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