MCDONOUGH – The weather might have been terrible Friday night but Alcovy’s Malachi Outlaw could have cared less.
Enduring a hammering rain to start the game, the Tigers (4-3, 3-2 Region 4-AAAA) scored on their first three possessions and Outlaw set a single game school record with 293 rushing yards as Alcovy thumped Ola 41-0 at Mustang Stadium.
Outlaw tallied 159 yards on the ground in the first half alone and had scoring runs of 74 and 45 yards. As a team, the Tigers rushed for a school record 486 yards, averaged 13.8 yards a carry and had six runs of 20 yards or more.
"Malachi, when he gets on a roll, he can really run," Alcovy coach Kirk Hoffman said. "You know, Malachi is a special kid. He set his blocks well and he’s got great footwork. He’s just a special kid."
Alcovy marched 54 yards on eight plays on its opening drive to open up the scoring. Quarterback Rod Tolen took it in from the 5-yard line and after the PAT was wide, the Tigers led 6-0 with 6:04 to pay in the first quarter.
The Tigers got the ball right back on the Mustang 30-yard line after Ola’s punter muffed the snap. Alcovy took advantage of the short field and Tolen scampered in from 16 yards out to extend the Tigers’ lead to 12-0.
"We’re staring to click a little bit right now," Hoffman said. "The kids are starting to believe. At this time in the season you ought to be getting better each week and we are."
Again the Tigers’ defense held Ola (1-7, 1-5) without a first down and forced a punt. On the second play from scrimmage on Alcovy’s ensuing drive, Outlaw went 74 yards over the left side for the touchdown and the Tigers led 18-0 with 20 seconds remaining in the first quarter.
"I just basically tried to read my first block and hit the seam," Outlaw said. "After that, I just tried to pick up positive yards."
The field conditions got the best of both teams on the next two possessions as the Tigers and Mustangs traded fumbles.
Ola put together a 14-play drive to move the ball inside the Tigers’ 5-yard line but quarterback Darryl Dickey’s pass fell short and Alcovy took over on downs.
Neither team scored in the second quarter as Alcovy maintained its 18-point lead into halftime.Things went from bad to worse for Ola in the second half. The rain may have let up, but Alcovy’s rushing relentless rushing attack continued to dominate the Mustangs’ front line. On the Tigers’ fifth play of the second half, Outlaw broke a 45-yard touchdown run to extend Alcovy’s lead to 25-0. Even when Hoffman took out his starters, the Tigers’ reserves continued to chew up yardage on the ground.
Freshman running back Trey Sorrells, who may have earned more touches this week in practice, carried the ball four times for 64 yards including a 33-yard touchdown to extend Alcovy’s lead to 31-0 with 7:29 to go in the third period.
"I tried not to make it look bad," Hoffman said. "I played a lot of kids tonight. I played two freshman running backs and we went with three quarterbacks. But I’m really proud of the kids. We really needed this win."
DeVon Edwards had a nice night on the ground and he too got in on the big play barrage when he broke a 65-yard touchdown late in the game.
Alcovy’s defense forced two turnovers and played solid all night. Ola moved the ball inside the Tigers’ 5-yard line twice but came away empty each time.
"We made some mistakes in the middle of the field and that hurt us, but those goal line stands were huge," Hoffman said.
Outlaw’s monster night could have been 110 times better had he not had runs of 45 and 65 yards called back for holding penalties. Those were about the only mistakes the Tigers made.
"With three games to go and you’re still in the playoff hunt, you have to be happy with that," Hoffman said. "I told the kids the other day that three years ago when the school opened or even two years ago, not a lot of people thought we would be where we are right now so I feel good about that. But we still have a ways to go."
Edwards finished with 81 yards on four carries and a score while Tolen finished with 48 yards and two touchdowns.