The Alcovy Tigers didn’t pass much Thursday night at Sharp Stadium against the Druid Hills Red Devils, but when they did put the ball in the air, it seemed to find the hands of junior D’Anthony Bell.
Bell finished with two catches for 100 yards and two touchdowns to help the Tigers to a 33-6 victory over the Red Devils on homecoming night, pushing the Tigers to 3-1 in Region 2-AAAAAA.
The Tigers’ defense forced six turnovers, including five interceptions of Druid Hills’ quarterback Michael Scott, holding the Red Devils to just 144 yards through the air.
Alcovy battled through seven second-half penalties to the tune of 65 yards, but the relentless Tigers’ defense never faltered under pressure.
“Defensively, we are where we need to be,” Alcovy coach Kirk Hoffman said. “We just have to keep getting better.”
Alcovy scored its first touchdown of the contest after Scott threw his first interception of the game, setting the Tigers up at the Red Devils’ 35-yard line. The Tigers needed just six plays, including five runs from quarterback Tristen Payne, to reach the end zone, punching in the Tigers’ opening touchdown on a 2-yard run from Okon Godwin. Jason Trowbridge added the extra-point for the Tigers, giving Alcovy a 7-0 lead with 2:50 left in the first half.
The Druid Hills’ offense looked to answer the Tigers’ score on their next drive, converting a 4th-and-1 with a Scott run deep in their own territory. Unfortunately for the Red Devils’ and Scott, the quarterback’s next pass on first down found Bell instead of one of his wide receivers. The junior picked off Scott for the second time on the night, setting Alcovy up inside the Red Devils’ 35-yard line.
Alcovy was unable to score off the Druid Hills’ turnover, but crossed the goal line on its next possession to extend its advantage to 14-0.
After a Red Devils punt, the Tigers drove the ball 47 yards on 12 plays, with Payne rushing for 30 yards on the drive. Payne found Godwin for his first touchdown of the night, connecting with Godwin for a 1-yard play-action touchdown pass that saw the senior wide open in the end zone with 6:20 to go in the first half.
The Red Devils responded just before the end of the half, scoring their lone touchdown of the contest with 23.9 second to go in the opening period.
Scott hit wideout K’Tjuan Clark for a 12-yard touchdown pass over the middle of the field, but the Red Devils missed the ensuing extra-point, giving the Tigers’ a 14-6 advantage heading into halftime.
“I’ll tell you what (their touchdown) did,” Hoffman said. “I think it woke us up. That’s inexcusable.”
The Tigers rallied in the second half after Druid Hills’ score, opening the second half with a touchdown on their first drive of the period.
Alcovy drove from its 16-yard line into Red Devil territory before Payne found Bell for a 45-yard strike over the middle of the field, giving Alcovy a 21-6 lead with 3:27 left in the third quarter.
Payne and Bell connected again in the fourth quarter after the Red Devils’ Hasaan Enis coughed the ball up at midfield. With the ball on the Tigers’ 45-yard line, Bell took a pass from Payne and turned up the field down the left sideline, breaking a pair of tackles before cutting back to the middle of the field for his second touchdown of the game.
Bell’s second touchdown pushed the Tigers’ahead 27-6 after Alcovy missed the extra-point.
The Red Devils had one final push in them trailing by three scores with 4:17 to go in the contest. Scott led Druid Hills deep into Alcovy territory to the Tigers’ 5-yard line, but the juniors’ fifth interception found the hands of Darius Stepney at the Tigers’ 3-yard line. Stepney ran the interception back 97 yards for the game-clinching score as time expired.
The Red Devils outgained the Tigers in total offense 255 yards to 208 yards, but the Tigers’ second-half highlight catches and four Druid Hills’ turnovers proved costly.
“I’ve said all along, if he (Bell) gets well, and he gets better and better, we’re going to be all right,” Hoffman said.”
Payne finished 4-of-10 passing for 107 yards and three touchdowns, while also picking up 73 yards on the ground on 23 carries.
Scott finished 11-of-34 passing for 144 yards, one touchdown and five interceptions. Scott also had 98 yards rushing on 27 carries.
Alcovy returns to action next week when it travels to Rockdale County.