The Alcovy Tigers (now 1-2) were looking for a monumental win against the Eastside Eagles (2-1) which could have been their first victory over Eastside in four years. The streak would not be broken, though, as Eastside came out on top of a dogfight 16-6 to defeat Alcovy for the fourth year in a row. Here are five things Tyler Williams and Gabriel Stovall learned about each team throughout this physical football game.
Tyler and Alcovy
1. The Tigers should have won this game. Despite the three touchdowns called back on penalties, the Tigers almost scored first in the game. However, the key word there is “almost.” A deep touchdown pass to a wide-open receiver was dropped on two different occasions, and both would have likely gone the distance. That's 14 points that should've been on the board. Instead, the Tigers suffered a 10-point defeat.
2. This mistake-filled loss is behind you now, Alcovy. It is time to move on. Coach Chris Edgar said it perfectly to his team after the game. They have no time to stay down over this loss. This team still looks good. Like I said, they should’ve won. But it’s not a would’ve-could’ve-should’ve world in football. It’s time the Tigers channel the disappointment in this loss into motivation for their next game against Henry County Friday.
3. Alcovy was the recipient of questionable officiating, again. Like last week, this is still no excuse. I’m not saying that the refs beat Alcovy. However, there were multiple questionable calls tonight against Alcovy that had the fans and Edgar riled up. One came on a weak holding call that brought an 83-yard Hammonds touchdown run all the way back. Another call was when Eastside running back, Taylor Carter, fumbled a kickoff return, prompting an Alcovy after it looked like the Tigers pounced on the loose ball, but the refs ruled Carter down before the ball squirted out. Again, the officiating didn’t cost Alcovy the game, but it did fall victim to bad calls throughout the game.
4. The trenches stepped up on both sides tonight. The offensive line didn’t play a great game tonight, but it was a solid performance. On most occasions, they gave Anderson plenty of time to throw the ball while also opening up a few holes to create solid gains on the ground. They were tasked with facing an elite prospect in Lamarius Benson, while also having to battle Spurgeon Gaither who is really emerging as a stud on the line. The defensive line for Alcovy held up well, too. Eastside pounded the ball all night, yet, Alcovy’s run defense made key stops time after time to keep the Tigers in it.
5. Our thoughts and prayers are with Andruw Binion. Late in the fourth quarter, Alcovy’s Andruw Binion went down with what seemed to be a severe injury. The break took well over 15 minutes before Binion was finally carted off the field where he was met by an ambulance. We do not know the extent of his injury, although we did get several texts from Alcovy coaches, including Edgar, that there were likely no broken bones or fractures and that Binion would be fine. Still, on behalf of The Covington News sports staff, we would like to send our best wishes to Binion and his family.
Gabriel and Eastside
1. The Eagles’ running game could devastate Region 4-AAAA. I hope nobody took that shellacking to Newton seriously last week in terms of how you evaluate Eastside’s football team. Again, Newton is a Class AAAAAAA school that is “that good.” But Eastside’s talent is more than ample for Class AAAA ball, particularly its running game. Taylor Carter and Tyon Davis are the real deal. The duo took turns slashing through Alcovy’s front seven making pivotal play after pivotal play to keep drives alive. It’s going to be tough for any Class AAAA to slow them down.
2. Brayden Harper is a warrior. Whether at receiver or quarterback — I even heard that coach Troy Hoff experimented with him at kicker — the kid can play. He’s hard nosed. He doesn’t go down easily. He’s just a flat out competitor who’s doing whatever it takes to keep this somewhat inexperienced Eastside team competing. Hopefully he can avoid the injury bug for region play. He’s going to be fun to watch.
3. I was wrong about the county’s strongest leg. I think it was last week when, after Alcovy’s Jose Ramos booted a 40-yard field goal with enough leg for about five or six more yards, I said that he, without question, was the top kicker in the county. Then Eastside’s Kade Mote blasted a 50-yarder Friday night against Alcovy. Hey, I can admit that I’m wrong. But it’s cool that the county has at least two kickers with huge legs. Maybe we can get Ramos and Mote together for a kicking contest before the year is done.
4. You can’t sleep on Spurgeon. Spurgeon Gaither, that is. The senior defensive tackle doesn’t get the hype or headlines that Lamarius Benson (deservedly) gets. But Gaither can be just as disruptive to an opponent’s offensive backfield. Hoff said he had to twist his arm to get a highlight video done. Once coaches see it, though, Spurgeon (and his parents) will no doubt be glad that he did it.
5. We still don’t know the ceiling of this football team. Each week I see a little something different from this bunch that I didn’t see the week before — yes, even last week against Newton. In preseason, Hoff acknowledged his team’s “greenness,” due to the departure of 25 seniors in 2016. But he also said that the goal was to get this young squad ready to compete by region time. I still think Eastside is one of the better teams in Class AAAA and I still think they can and will make a playoff push this season. I believe the best for this bunch is yet ahead.