COVINGTON, Ga. — When you pour through all the stats and numbers that try to tell the story of Alcovy’s 32-13 loss to Meadowcreek Saturday, perhaps the most telling figure wasn’t immediately on the stat sheet.
That number would be 327. As in pounds. As in the average weight across the board for the Meadowcreek offensive line.
Taking that number into account provides even greater context to how Mustangs running back Chauncey Williams was able to run for 175 yards and three touchdowns on 25 carries.
There were times Williams made it look easy — something someone who saw the aggressiveness of the Alcovy defensive and offensive lines in last week’s win against Duluth might not have seen coming — especially from a team Alcovy defeated last year.
Alcovy coach Chris Edgar said Meadowcreek’s success in the run game was nothing magical.
“They just mashed us all night on both sides of the ball,” Edgar said. Coach (Joe) Carrera did a great job of getting those guys ready. They just kept running the ball on us. We just weren’t prepared. You’ve gotta be better at the point of attack. They’re huge. But they just manhandled us.”
While the Mustangs were fairly dominant, Edgar pointed out a couple of controversial calls that sort of swayed momentum away from the Tigers.
“There were a couple of interesting calls tonight,” Edgar said after Friday’s game.
The first came on a pretty fade pass from Alcovy quarterback Cameron Anderson that seemed to find Jairus Anthony in the corner of the end zone for a score. But the referee on the play said Anthony was unable to get the required one foot in bounds.
"We looked at the video and it looked like he was in," Edgar said.
Nevertheless, down 18-10, Alcovy ended up settling for a 40-yard Jose Ramos field goal.
The next controversial call came midway through the fourth quarter as Alcovy was trying to mount a comeback rally. Down 25-13 and facing 3rd and 14, Anderson hooked up with Dee Fanning for what would’ve been a 30-yard gain that would’ve given the Tigers a 1st and goal situation. But offensive pass interference was called on Fanning who appeared to be backing away from the Meadowcreek defender while looking for the ball.
“I don’t know how you have pass interference when you’re backing up like this,” Edgar said while demonstrating Fanning’s movement.
He stopped short, however, of placing the blame of the game's outcome squarely on the officials.
“You can’t blame a 32-13 loss on just a couple of calls from the refs, that’s for sure,” he said. “But it really did deflate us a lot.
It was Meadowcreek that punched the scoreboard first in the game, with a 29-yard field goal to cap a 7-play, 30-yard scoring drive to give the Mustangs a 3-0 lead at the 7:29 mark of the first quarter. That drive was helped by an Alcovy three-and-out which preceded a shanked punt that gave Meadowcreek prime starting field position.
The Tigers would answer back with a scoring drive of its own, highlighted by Cameron Anderson hooking up with Kameron Phuong for a 14-yard gain on 3rd and 15. On the next play, Andrae Robinson pushed ahead for the first down on 4th and inches.
Eight plays later, Jose Ramos was true on a 35-yard field goal that tied the score with 34.8 seconds left in the first.
Alcovy’s defense rose up and forced Meadowcreek to a three-and-out, and the Tigers engineered a promising drive, that got set back with a holding penalty. The drive would eventually end when Meadowcreek blocked a 40-yard field goal attempt by Ramos.
Meadowcreek would then settle in behind its offensive line and gave the Tigers a steady diet of Williams who would eventually push into the end zone from five yards out for a score to put the Mustangs back on top, 10-3.
Williams had 53 rushing yards on five carries on that scoring drive alone — part of his 98-yard first half performance.
Alcovy would promptly answer, though, as D.J. Tuggle took the ensuing kickoff and weaved his way through would-be Meadowcreek tacklers for a 75 yard kick return for a touchdown, tying the score once again. That momentum would be short-lived, however, as the Mustangs answered back with Williams finding the end zone from five yards out.
A pair of penalties actually pushed Meadowcreek back to a 3rd and goal from the Alcovy 33, but the Tigers gave up a 28-yard pass play prior to converting the 4th-and-goal scoring play from the five. The Mustangs followed it up with a two-point conversion which ultimately gave them an 18-10 lead at halftime.
In the third quarter after Ramos’ 40-yard field goal to cut Meadowcreek’s lead to 18-13, Williams capped off a 60-yard scoring drive with a five yard touchdown run at the 5:29 mark, to extend the Mustangs’ lead to 25-13.
After the call against Fanning which eventually led to a turnover on downs for Alcovy, Meadowcreek would tack on two more scores in the fourth quarter, the last of which, an 18-yard endzone scamper from Williams to provide the final margin.
Edgar acknowledge it wasn’t exactly what he envisioned for his team after a strong Week One showing. But he won’t allow himself or his team to stew over it too long.
“This game does nothing for our playoff hopes,” Edgar told his team in the postgame huddle.
And then he implored his bunch to put the loss behind them and start looking ahead to facing in-county rival Eastside next Friday. The Eagles will also be walking into next week’s game smarting from a bad loss. Eastside was shutout 40-0 to Newton Friday night.
“We’re going to set our eyes toward Eastside now,” Edgar said. “They’re going to come into that game licking their wounds just like we are. It’ll be a good chance for each team to rebound, so it should be a good one.”