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Alcovy, Eastside looks to improve record tonight
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Two of the three local high school football teams - Alcovy and Eastside - will compete in what should be exciting games tonight, while Newton must wait patiently during its bye week for another shot at its first win of the season.

Nevertheless, it should be an interesting matchup this evening when Madison County (2-0) enters Homer Sharp Stadium to battle the Eagles (2-0). Both teams remain undefeated, but that won't be the case by tomorrow.

"We've had a real good week," said Eastside head coach Rick Hurst regarding practice. Despite the nasty conditions outside, the Eagles have been practicing indoors throughout most of the week.

After their first two games, the Red Raiders have outscored their opponents 72-13, while Eastside has blanked opposing teams 52-0. The Eagles have combined for 746 total offensive yards, while the defense has allowed just 189 yards. In comparison, Madison County has accumulated 695 yards of offense against 253.

Eastside quarterback Justin Wray has executed quite effectively on the field, passing for 350 yards (17 for 26) and four touchdowns, with a 65.4 completion percentage.

On the ground, the Eagles have two players with 118 rushing yards apiece - Wray and Larenzo Echols (one touchdown). Johnny Norrington has 13 carries for 87 yards, as well. Andrico Bailey leads all receivers with 178 receiving yards, including two touchdowns.

Defensively, two senior linebackers have joined together to become a force to be reckoned with on the gridiron. Bo Childers leads the Eagles with 11 tackles, while William White has already recorded three sacks.

Meanwhile, the Red Raiders have allowed 253 yards of total offense in two games (106 passing yards and 142 rushing yards). In addition, they are allowing just 2.54 yards per carry, using a strong defensive line that is led by Cody Escoe and Marcus Hall, who have 18 tackles apiece. Linebacker Alex Tilton follows with 16 tackles.

Madison's Spencer Baird has passed for 364 yards, going 23 for 39 (59 completion percentage), including four touchdowns.

Al Allen has been the leading rusher for the Red Raiders thus far with 153 yards, averaging 6.12 yards per carry on 25 attempts. In addition, he leads all receivers with nine receptions for 218 yards (24.22 yards per catch).

"I don't know that we match physically with them," said Hurst. "They're huge, and have a lot of big kids. We're going to have to play sound football. By far, (this) is the best team we (will) have played, and it's going to be a good matchup."

Turning to Alcovy, the Tigers (1-1) are coming off their first ever victory against none other than crosstown rival Newton, as they travel to Winder-Barrow (2-0) tonight.

"I'm happy for the kids," beamed Alcovy head coach Kirk Hoffmann regarding his first win with the program.

The Tigers have showed tremendous improvement considering it is only a second-year school, and the win over the Rams was simply unforgettable.

"Well, you always want to beat your rival, there's no doubt about it," said Hoffmann. "For us, (it) didn't matter who it was against - we just needed that one win for the kids because they've put so much time in and they deserve it."

During their first two games, the Tigers have racked up 567 yards of total offense, while allowing 392. More impressively, they only allowed 24 total yards against the Rams last week.

"Our defense did a great job," said Hoffmann. "That's one of those things we've been preaching since day one, and things finally came together for us defensively."

Alcovy quarterback Ryan Ledford has led the offensive surge with an overall 12 for 26 performance and 165 passing yards. In addition, Ledford has rushed for 116 yards on 22 carries.

Malachi Outlaw has already accumulated 243 rushing yards, as he leads the Tigers in that offensive category.

"After seeing Winder-Barrow) on film, they've got nice size up front," said Hoffmann. "They do an outstanding job up there on the offensive line."

But can the Tigers win another one?

According to Hoffmann, if they play within themselves then it shouldn't be a problem.

The Newton Rams (0-2) have a bye week, but will next host Morrow on Friday at Sharp Stadium.