COVINGTON, Ga. — Night two of the high school football gauntlet at Sharp Stadium saw the Alcovy Tigers welcome the Duluth Wildcats in their season opener. In a game that started off in favor of the visitors, the Tigers would bounce back quickly to take over the game and remain ahead in dominant fashion, winning 37-22 in a game where the score was a lot closer than it should have been.
After successfully defeating the Wildcats for the second season in a row, Alcovy has now won back-to-back season openers for the first time in school history. Here are my five things I observed during the triumphant win for Alcovy:
1. The offensive line was a big concern, but not necessarily tonight. Though the trenchmen are not where Edgar would fully like for them to be, the offensive line played a solid game tonight, not allowing Duluth to dramatically disrupt either the running or passing game. They protected quarterback Cameron Anderson very well, and even when he scrambled, they created key blocks and running lanes which would allow him to pick up a lot of yardage on the ground. They also were able to allow big running plays by creating gaps for speedy tailbacks Quindrelin Hammonds and Andrae Robinson to run through.
2. Yes, Cameron Anderson is the truth. Head coach Chris Edgar made it clear before Alcovy played its scrimmage against Miller Grove last week that Cam Anderson is Alcovy’s starting quarterback, and the leader of this potential high-powered offense. Anderson had a career day for himself both on the ground and through the air as he ran for 66 yards on seven carries and passed for 176 yards (both unofficial totals). He also threw four touchdowns passes, which Edgar noted is an Alcovy school record. If there was any doubt about the ability of Anderson to lead the offense and extend plays to create big plays, that doubt was silenced tonight in a record-breaking way.
3. The front seven took Duluth to the busses. It was almost redundant to see — Duluth lining up on third down with over 20 yards to go. This was a key aspect of Alcovy’s defensive dominance. After giving up a 91-yard touchdown on the game’s opening play, the defense shut them down for much of the night, with the exception of a few fourth quarter scores from the Wildcats — largely set up by Alcovy turnovers. But the Tigers’ front seven was a disruptive bunch on nearly every play, particularly with guys like Jalen Banks who had three sacks Friday night. But even if Alcovy didn’t get the sack, they were running down Duluth quarterback Jalil El-Amin, disrupting his rhythm and playmaking ability.
4. The Tigers have never looked more physical. They aren’t the biggest team in terms of size, but they proved that they will hit you like they are. The Tigers were punishing Duluth on both sides of the ball, hyping the team and fans up with each helmet jarring, pad-popping hit. A prime example of this was seen with safety Jakob Streeter. He’s not the biggest athlete you’ll see, but he made sure that his name was known loud and clear after getting up from a hit-stick-like tackles he made during Friday’s game. The physicality of this team makes up for their smaller size, and could give them a huge edge in future games against tougher opponents.
5. I, like others tonight, have become a believer in this programs upside. I know it’s only the first game of the season. I also know that this team started out 4-1 last season, only to finish 6-10. However, Edgar has brought an energy and mindset to this team that really stood out to me as I watched from the sidelines. Regardless of the turnout of the rest of their season, whether it’s 1-9, or 10-0, I believe that this team is heading in the right direction at a tremendously fast pace, and could become a competitive playoff team again soon, if not this season.