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Tigers use dominant second half to beat Rockdale, gain first win
Dogs Caged
Alcovy's tough defense shuts down Rockdale County's running game during the first half of the Region 3-AAAAAA matchup between the schools in Conyers on Friday night. - photo by Anthony Banks | The Covington News

CONYERS, Ga. — Alcovy put together a dominant second half to return to Covington with a 24-6 victory over the Rockdale Bulldogs at Reid Memorial Stadium Friday night. 

After holding onto a narrow 7-0 lead at halftime, the Tigers got things going on offense beginning in the third quarter.

Ashton Evans found MJ Stroud for a 15-yard touchdown pass to increase Alcovy’s lead 14-0. Stroud’s touchdown capped off the Tigers’ inaugural drive of the second half that went six plays for 62 yards. 

The Tigers’ defense forced yet another three-and-out to give the ball back to their offense. 

On the ensuing drive, Alcovy marched down the field once again. This time, Evans called his own number rushing in from two yards out to extend his team’s lead 21-0. 

From there, the offense maintained possession, moved the ball and burned the clock. 

Be that as it may, Alcovy wouldn’t have won, at least as comfortably, if it wasn’t for the stellar play of its defense. 

Particularly in the first half that was riddled with offensive miscues, Alcovy’s defense constantly picked up the slack.

For instance, Tristan Mayweather fumbled the ball in the latter part of the first quarter. 

On the Bulldogs’ ensuing drive, Alcovy’s defense forced a punt. Rockdale’s punter, Kaleb Baldwin shanked the punt that gave the Tigers great starting field position - field position that they would take full advantage of. 

One play later, Evans scrambled out of the pocket to find Mathias Height in the end zone for a 17-yard touchdown. 

Largely due to the defense forcing a three-and-out were the Tigers able to score their first points of the game. 

Defensively, the Tigers registered seven sacks, numerous tackles for loss and seemed to be camped out in the Bulldogs’ backfield all night long. As a matter of fact, Rockdale didn’t pick up a first down until late in the third quarter because of Alcovy’s defensive play. 

Rockdale’s lone score of the contest came when Malik Brightwell connected with Antonio Hardge for a long touchdown reception. 

However, it was a case of too little too late for the Bulldogs. 

Alcovy proceeded to run the ball, burn the remaining 2:27 off the clock and preserve the win. 

Braxton Crawford came in with 11:07 left in the game and kicked a 27-yard field goal to aid Alcovy in earning its first win of 2021. 

For the second time in the past three seasons, the Tigers begin region play 1-0. Next week, they’ll face a non-region opponent as they travel 200 miles to face Lowndes High School