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Alcovy, penalties stop Dogs
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Tarjee Steele has his punt return stopped from going all the way by Alcovy’s punter Rysen Richardson during the Bulldogs nine-point loss at Sharp Stadium Friday.

Alcovy shut down Rockdale and opened up a postseason berth in a 17-8 win at Sharp Stadium Friday night.

Two touchdown passes by Alcovy (4-5, 3-2 Region 2-AAAAAA) quarterback Cornell White and a field goal by Rysen Richardson were enough as the Tigers limited Rockdale (2-7, 2-3) to just 157 yards. Take away two passing plays from Zuri Minnifield to Tarjee Steele totaling 81 yards on the Bulldogs' scoring drive, Rockdale managed just 76 yards.

The win secured a top four spot for Alcovy in the Class AAAAAA playoffs, which begin Nov. 16, and forces Rockdale to beat Druid Hills Friday to continue its season.

"Either we're going to man up and win the game next week or we're going in and have to get ready for offseason," Rockdale coach Venson Elder said. "We expect the kids to man up."

The Bulldogs were also hampered by 18 penalties totaling 118 yards, not all of what Elder said was Rockdale's doing.

"They stole the game from us," he said. "If we do something wrong, call it. But the stuff that went down tonight, it just changed the whole outlook of the game."

Penalties plagued Rockdale in the first half, as the Bulldogs committed 11, giving away 83 yards.

Alcovy took advantage of the miscues on its second touchdown drive. The Bulldogs committing a contact with the punter penalty to keep the Tigers' drive alive and then continuing to breathe life into it with a pass interference infraction.

Cornell White then found Nanpon Ross for a 16-yard touchdown pass to give Alcovy a 14-6 lead with 58 seconds left in the first half. The Tigers trailed 6-0 after Zuri Minnifield found Tarjee Steele on a 68-yard scoring pass with 8:05 left in the first.

The Bulldogs missed the extra points, but they had opened the scoring thanks to two catches for 81 yards by Steele.

Rockdale lost the lead on White's 21-yard touchdown pass to Jaylin Penny, combining with the extra point for a 7-6 Alcovy advantage with 9:14 left in the second quarter.

Rockdale struggled offensively in the first half tallying just 34 yards outside of Steele's two catches on the scoring drive.

The Tigers' defensive line dominated the younger Bulldogs, led by Ryan Adams, Curtiss Benton and Okon Godwin.

Other than the Bulldogs' big pass play early on, their only other points came on a safety as Alcovy tried to punt from beyond its own end with 4:55 left in the third quarter.

Rockdale, however, couldn't do anything on its offensive drive following the safety, with Minnifield getting sacked again this time by DeAnthony Bell.

"I thought defensively, we couldn't ask for anything better," Hoffman said.

Richardson's 33-yard field goal secured the Tigers' second-straight playoff berth.

Alcovy travels to Region 2-AAAAAA champion Lovejoy Friday.

Rockdale hosts Druid Hills on Friday.