Alcovy travels to Tara Stadium tonight for a region game with big time playoff implications. The Tigers take on Mt. Zion-Jonesboro with the winner claiming at least a share of third place in Region 4-AAAA.
As it stands, the Tigers are one of three teams at 3-2 while Mt. Zion-Jonesboro is 4-2 and in sole position of third.
Alcovy, 4-3 overall, is coming off perhaps its best game in school history. Last week the Tigers destroyed Ola 41-0 on the road and amassed more than 400 yards of rushing offense. But the Tigers face a much more formidable foe tonight in a Bulldog team that beat Dutchtown 21-14 last time out.
"They are very quick and fast," Alcovy coach Kirk Hoffman said. "They play excellent defense and offensively, they have the ability to score in a hurry."
The Tigers come in with a boat load of confidence. As the season has progressed, Hoffman said his team has learned from its mistakes and continues to improve.
"I think we have gotten better every week," he said. "One of our goals this year was to improve each and every week. Right now I feel like we are playing the type of game I expected. We have gotten better each week and need to continue to if we are to reach our goals for the year."
Statistically, Alcovy holds the edge. The Tigers are putting up 19.3 points per game on offense while holding their opponents to a shade over 11 a game. Conversely, the Bulldogs score about the same amount of points as they give up at 17.5 points per game in both categories.
Malachi Outlaw rushed for a school record 288 yards against the Mustangs at Ola, but that game was played on a sloppy field. Rain may again be a factor this week so Outlaw, a low, shifty running back that hits the hole hard, could be in for yet another big game.
Offensive coordinator Joe Mobley opened up the playbook a bit last week as the Tigers too k several shots down the field. This week they may do much of the same. Hoffman said it depends on the match ups and what type of defense his team faces.
"We are hopefully going to be able to take advantage of what the other teams defense gives us," he said. "If that means throwing the ball, hopefully we will be able to do that."
A win would propel the Tigers into at least a tie for third place, depending on the outcome of the Jonesboro/Griffin game and what Dutchtown does against Forest Park. Standings aside, a win would put the Tigers in good position to secure a playoff spot next week at home versus Forest Park.
Hoffman isn’t concerned about playoff positioning right now. Instead, he is focused on winning one game at a time. He knows if the Tigers do that, a playoff spot will take care of itself.
A key to Alcovy’s success against Ola was its ability to pick up first downs. The Tigers did turn the ball over twice and that’s something Hoffman said can’t happen form them to win tonight.
"Defensively we need to contain them," he said. "We can not give up any quick scores and big plays. Offensively, we must take care of the football and maintain our drives."