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Newton vs. Alcovy
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For just the second time in school history, both Newton and Alcovy will matchup against each other tonight at Sharp Stadium.

And for the second time in two weeks, each school will be gunning for its first victory of the season.

Last week, the Rams (0-1) were crushed by another rival, Eastside, to the tune of 31-0. Meanwhile, the Tigers (0-1) fell to Habersham, 34-14.

"This is going to be a good ball game," said Alcovy head coach Kirk Hoffmann. "After watching the film, Newton is a better team than what some people are saying; they're a pretty good football team.

"I told the kids all week that we're going to have to play sound football because when two rival teams play, anything can happen," added Hoffmann.

After a week to reflect on what went wrong against rival Eastside, the Rams worked on everything this week in practice.

"We tried to work on all of it," said Newton head coach Nick Collins, "but we've got to find a way to get better, like simplifying some things on defense, and we've tried to correct some of those issues this week."

For Collins, it means winning his first game as a head coach and getting his team back on track. For Hoffmann and the Tigers, it means winning their first game in school history, despite it just being their second year of existence.

"A win would be huge," admitted Collins. "We need one, and we need one bad. It's going to be a struggle for us, but we're going to be able to compete. We've got to find a way to win ball games that we're supposed to win."

According to Collins, he thought his team would be better after a week of practice; however, he is still unsure of where exactly his Rams stand.

"We're facing the same things we faced before," said Collins. "We've got guys (who) are not accustomed to playing this style of football."

Meanwhile, the Tigers enjoyed several good practices earlier this week.

"We've got to continue to improve," said Hoffmann. "All you can ask for is to get better every week, and if that happens then good things are going to happen."

Collins will start five freshmen against the Tigers, simply because the younger athletes are buying into what Newton is trying to do. According to Collins, the second-year Tigers remind him of the Eagles.

"(Alcovy) is bigger than us and stronger than us in some areas," said Collins. They're going to be able to do some things to attack us where we're weak. But (the) bottom line is how long we can hang in there until we find enough plays to put us on top."

Hoffmann points out that Newton's strength is obviously its speed.

"Well, their speed is very evident," commented Hoffmann on the Rams. "Defensively, they run to the football. Offensively, they've got some kids (who) can make some big plays. We've got to be very disciplined and follow our assignments."

Setting playbooks aside, based on the newfound rivalry and several lunches spent together, Collins admires Hoffmann.

"I've got a lot of respect for Coach Hoffmann," said Collins. "He's a very classy guy."

And Hoffmann echoes the same comments pertaining to his opponent.

"He's doing the right things over there," said Hoffmann regarding Collins. "He's doing the program the right way and not taking any shortcuts. I've been real impressed with him."

Despite having to immediately face crosstown opponents during his first two weeks of action, Collins gets straight to the point.

"You gotta play and that's the bottom line," said Collins. "The schedule is what it is, and you've got to play people."