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Posted: September 15, 2012 8:19 p.m.

Alcovy upends Eastside for first win

Photo by Anthony Banks/

Alcovy's Curtiss Benton wraps up Eastside's Demario Terrell after a high snap, which led to a safety for Alcovy and put them up 9-3 in the second quarter. The safety was one of several miscues for Eastside as they lost 24-10.

Alcovy flipped the script Friday night, forcing Eastside into a safety and three turnovers, including a fumble recovery and an interception that the Tigers returned for touchdowns en route to a 24-10 win.

The win was Alcovy's first of the season as it improved to 1-2 on the year while dropping the Eagles to 2-1, reversing Eastside's recent trend of dominance in the series.

Alcovy's defense was dominant all game long, directly scoring 14 points, stuffing the Eagles running game and containing the passing attack, including four sacks. The Eagles had 19 carries for minus 2-yards rushing in the first half and finished with a total of 19 yards on 32 carries.
"Well, they have all year," head coach Kirk Hoffman said, when asked about his team's strong defensive play. "All those kids played last year. They're still young. A lot of them are just juniors. They made great adjustments and we made plays when we had to."

Alcovy set the tone early and refused to let any setbacks keep them down for long.

Eastside got the scoring started on its opening 68-yard drive with a 36-yard field goal. However, Alcovy one upped them, putting together a 74-yard touchdown drive, capped off by a 27-yard touchdown run by quarterback Marcus Williams.

The Eagles would get nothing else the rest of the half, except more harassment. Punting from Eastside's 34-yard line, Alcovy's Rysan Richardson pinned Eastside inside its own one-yard line on a beautifully executed coffin corner kick. After two unsuccessful runs, the Eastside center snapped the ball over quarterback Demario Terrell's head and the ball went bouncing into the end zone. Alcovy's Curtiss Benton wrapped up Terrell and the ball went out of the back of the end zone for a safety, putting Alcovy up 9-3.

The Eagles were somewhat effective through the air, as Demario Terrell was 11 for 25 for 132 yards, with one touchdown and one interception, but the team's play was too inconsistent to sustain more than one touchdown drive, which came with 2:16 left in the third quarter. On third and 14, Terrell hit receiver Cameron Boyd with a 9-yard pass that put the ball on Alcovy's 42-yard line. Down 9-3 with the time growing short, Eastside coach Rick Hurst decided to go for it on fourth down, and Terrell once again connected with Boyd on a slant across the middle; Boyd shook off his defender and cruised 33 yards to the end zone.

Alcovy's offense had sputtered in the third, and given both teams' strong defense, the game could have easily stalled out with a 10-9 Eastside victory. But, the Tigers didn't give up, which Hoffman said was a testament to their growth.

"I'll tell you what I think the turning point was. In that third quarter, we couldn't get out of our backyard, but this team didn't hang their heads," Hoffman said. "I think I told you earlier in the season we had to learn how to handle adversity, and we did a little bit in that third quarter."

With Eastside looking to add to its lead early in the fourth quarter, Terrell completed a pass to receiver Landon Johnson, who was immediately hit and then got spun around before Williams - who also plays safety for Alcovy - stripped the ball right out of his hands and took it back 65 yards down the right sideline for a touchdown. A successful two-point conversion put the Tigers up 17-10.

The turn of events was an unlucky one for Johnson, who was one of the team's strongest performers Friday, pulling in 6 catches for 67 yards. However, the team's bad luck would continue. On its next drive, Terrell threw five incompletions on top off a would-be interception that was overturned by a pass interference penalty against Alcovy.

The ensuing punt went nearly straight up in the air and would have been around a 5-yard punt if it hadn't taken a fortuitous bounce forward; the official distance was 13 yards. After an Alcovy punt, Eastside's offense again ran into trouble. Terrell threw a swing pass to running back Landon Moore, which bounced off Moore's hands and right into the shoulder pad of Alcovy's Okon Godwin, who brought it in with one hand and rumbled down the sideline for a 31-yard touchdown return. The extra point made it 24-10 Alcovy with 7:51 left to play in the game.

The life seemed to go out of the Eagles, who would never threaten again and fumbled one more time with Alcovy's Dante Washington recovering.

After turning over the ball seven times in the first two games, Alcovy only turned it over once, while Eastside, which came into the game with a plus-eight turnover margin, lost the turnover battle by 3 to 1.

"You have to take care of the football. It doesn't matter who it is or what level - little league, high school, college, pro - you have to take care of the football, and we hadn't in the first couple games," Hoffman said. "We worked on it this week, but we finally go some balls to bounce our way. That was huge."

While the Tigers got the win, Hoffman still wanted to see more from his offense. The Tigers finished with 31 yards passing and 105 yards rushing on 35 carries, led by Williams who had 55 yards on 19 carries and Cornell White who had 50 yards on 16 carries.

"Well, we're getting there. Cornell White, you get the ball in his hands and he's going to take care of it and get some tough yards," Hoffman said. "We have to get some timing down. We're still battling some things...Cornell made some nice runs early. He's like a slithering snake out there. I thought Marcus Williams played a whole lot better than he has. The offensive line is getting better. We're getting there."

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