MORROW, Ga. — The Alcovy Tigers failed to finish a comeback and fell 34-29 to the Morrow Mustangs in a Thursday night Region 3-AAAAAA matchup.
The Mustangs made it a habit of capitalizing on the Tigers’ special teams miscues which began on the opening kickoff.
Morrow’s Clenton Rafe IV took the kickoff down the sideline for an immediate touchdown to put the Mustangs ahead.
Rafe almost repeated the feat on his next kick return but was ultimately stopped deep in Alcovy territory.
After a pair of punts to start the game for the Tigers’ offense, they got into a rhythm with long runs from freshman Tyler Solomon.
Solomon’s 50-yard rush put the Tigers in Morrow territory before senior quarterback Ashton Evans took it in himself for the goal line score.
Despite the score, the Tigers found themselves behind after two rushing touchdowns from Morrow’s Andrew Craig and Steven Turner II.
Alcovy’s offense found its footing again late in the second quarter as Solomon capped off a long drive with a two-yard touchdown to bring the Tigers within a two-score game going into halftime.
Coming out of the half with a 27-15 deficit, the Tigers were going to need more from Evans and Solomon to get back into the game.
But before the offense could make any plays, the Tigers’ special teams got their revenge by blocking the Mustangs punt to give Evans and company the ball deep into Morrow territory.
The offense turned the blocked punt into instant damage with a rushing touchdown from Joseph Seay to reduce the Morrow lead to 27-21 halfway through the third quarter.
After forcing a Mustangs punt on the next drive, the Tigers threatened again when Evans took the carry 72-yards to put Alcovy deep in Morrow territory.
Two plays later, the Mustangs took all the momentum back.
Evans was picked off near the goal line and Craig took the next snap the other way for the 72-yard touchdown to put the Mustangs ahead 34-21 early in the fourth quarter.
The Tigers almost suffered a big blow in the fourth quarter when Evans went down with an apparent leg injury. Backup Patrick Lucero took over but the Tigers were held to a punt.
After a mishandled punt by the Mustangs put the Tigers deep in enemy territory, Evans hobbled back onto the field and led the Tigers to the goal line before Seay took it in for his second touchdown of the game.
Evans found Bernard Lackey in the back of the end zone for the two-point conversion to bring the Tigers within five points with three minutes left in the game.
After recovering a mishandled kickoff return, the Tigers gave the ball right back to the Mustangs when Evans' pass was picked off to put the dagger in Morrow’s 34-29 win.
In the loss, Alcovy’s running backs paved the way for the offense as Solomon finished with 96 yards and a score while Seay finished with two touchdowns of his own.
Down to 0-3 in the region, the Tigers will look to turn it around next week at Sharp Stadium when they host Lovejoy Friday, Oct. 7.