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From worst to first
Alcovy clinches subregion title with 34-8 win
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Alcovy completed its improbable turnaround from worst to first Friday with a 34-8 win over Woodland, Henry at Sharp Stadium Friday.

The Tigers went 1-9 in 2010 and finished dead last in the subregion. Now they’re Region 3A-AAAA champs.

"We gave it away last week but I thought they came back with a lot of focus tonight," Alcovy coach Kirk Hoffman said. "We talk about the race. There are seven games in the race to get to the subregion championship and let’s win each game or each leg of the race and tonight we accomplished it. We’ve grown up a lot."

Devon Edwards may have locked up region player of the year honors with yet another stellar performance. Edwards scored two touchdowns on the ground including a 57-yarder that made it a 20-0 game with 1:45 left in the third quarter, and ran an interception down to the Woodland 1-yard line to set up Alcovy’s final score.

"Well if he’s (Edwards) not (the best player in the region) he’s up there," Hoffman said. "What’s phenomenal is he didn’t even play last year."

When it wasn’t Edwards breaking tackles and clearing the edge to the end zone, it was one of Alcovy’s other big four.

Quarterback Cornell White bounced back from a shaky start in which he threw a pick and fumbled two straight snaps to throw a 36-yard touchdown pass to Kenard Murry to open the scoring and Tre Sorrells picked up tough yards inside and punched in a 3-yard touchdown run in the second quarter. White also scored Alcovy’s final touchdown on a 1-yard dive.

"We didn’t play well in the first quarter but they settled down and started doing what we asked," Hoffman said. "If you take away the sweep from Devon, you have Tre inside and you get Tre going one way and you come back with Cornell. If they pull people up we feel like we have a chance throwing the football."

As well as Edwards and company played on offense, it was perhaps the defense that authored its signature performance. The Tigers had seven sacks — three by Michael Moses, and seven tackles for a loss. The defense also forced two turnovers — Edwards’ interception and a fumble in the second quarter that setup Alcovy’s second touchdown.

"We’ve gotten better," Hoffman said. "What people don’t realize is; we’re young over there (on defense). They’re coachable. We have four or five sophomores over there and when you have sophomores, they’re going to make mistakes. You have to hope every week you close those mistakes down and tonight we made some great checks and did the things we’re supposed to do."

Alcovy rushed for more than 200 yards as a team. Edwards led the Tigers with 104 rushing yards while Sorrells and White had 65 and 36 yards respectively.

After Alcovy’s slow start, White hit Murry in the end zone on a 36-yard strike to get the Tigers on the board. Murry outjumped the Woodland defender to make the grab and had three catches for 51 yards on the night.

Hoffman got aggressive with his play calling on Alcovy’s next drive. After the Tigers recovered a Woodland fumble, he called for a fake punt and backup quarterback Marcus Williams hit Robert Bullard for a 24-yard pass play to pick up the first down. Alcovy cashed in five plays later on Sorrells 3-yard run to lead 13-0.

"It was just there. They didn’t have anyone deep," Hoffman said. "I thought about doing it earlier but I thought there was no sense in backing my defense up because we were playing pretty well defensively."

With the game still in the balance, Edwards broke free at midfield late in the third quarter and outran everyone off the edge for a 57-yard touchdown run to make it 20-0 with 1:45 to play in the quarter.

Edwards struck again tow drives later. After a White fumble, Alcovy’s defense forced a three-and-out. On the Tigers’ next possession, Edwards took a handoff 19 yards to the end zone to increase Alcovy’s lead to 27-0. Edwards’ score was setup by Sorrells 35-yard run on the previous play.

"We have three people back there we can play with," Hoffman said. "We had that two years ago with Tre, Devon and (Rod) Tolen and we made the playoffs. We’ve got the ability to do some things that can open up the playbook. It’s easy to call offense when you have some stallions and that’s what a lot of that is."

Edwards wasn’t done. On the second play of Woodland’s ensuing drive, he adjusted to intercept an deflected pass and ran it back 34 yards to the Woodland 1-yard line to setup White’s touchdown to ice the game.

"I’m proud of this group. Nobody really gave us a chance early. We knew on the offensive and defensive line we were small and we were going to have to mature and get better and better and as the weeks have gone by we’ve done that. That’s the key. I feel like we’ve gotten better."

Alcovy is off next week and will have to wait to see who they’ll face in the region championship in two weeks. The Tigers will be on the road and will face the winner of the Northgate-Whitewater game next Friday. The winner of that game earns the No. 1 seed and homefield throughout the first four rounds of the Class AAAA playoffs, baring head-to-head matchups between No. 1 seeds which homefield is determined by a coin flip.