MOULTRIE, Ga. -- A little over a year ago when we chatted with Alcovy head coach Chris Edgar, he talked about his desire to get Colquitt County on the schedule.
The Packers have been one of South Georgia’s most stalwart football programs for years. But since coach Rush Propst took over, things in Moultrie have risen to another level. Edgar knew that when the time came to take his Tigers on the road to play Colquitt, he’d be playing one of the state’s best. But no one knew at the time that the Colquitt squad Alcovy will face tonight would be ranked No. 1 in Georgia and No. 9 in the nation.
Alcovy’s non-region schedule has been tough with its two games against in-county rivals Newton and Eastside and games against a talented Class AAAA Salem squad and another Class AAAAAAA team in Rockdale, but Colquitt will represent the ultimate test.
Edgar said he wanted to make sure his bunch would be battle tested heading into Region 3-AAAAAA play. One doesn’t get much more battle tested than playing a team like Colquitt County.
The Matchup: Alcovy (2-2, 0-0) at No. 1 Colquitt County (6-0 0-0). Alcovy’s had two straight bye weeks to get healthy and prepared for this one. And while some may think such preparation time for such a major opponent is needed, Edgar has expressed that the double bye week may not have been preferable to actually getting out and playing another game before this one. Nevertheless, the two weeks off have helped some key Tigers heal and allowed them to work on cleaning up some of the frequent errors that plagued them during the first four games of the season. It’s the first meeting between the two teams and Alcovy’s first trip into deep South Georgia.
The When and Where: Friday September 28, 8 p.m. at Mack Tharpe Stadium: 1000 Stadium Dr. SW, Moultrie, GA 31768.
The Key Players: For Alcovy, running back NaTorien Holloway will finally get the chance to get back on the field and continue his torrid early season pace that propelled him to being one of the state’s top rushers, regardless of classification. His backfield partner Andrae Robinson hasn’t been a slouch either. The tailback tandem, coupled with that much improved, bigger and stronger offensive line will represent Alcovy’s best shot at moving the ball against one of the state’s stingiest defenses. The return of quarterback Jaelen Campbell from an ankle injury sustained against Salem should help as well. Defensively, Alcovy will be outmanned up front from a size perspective, so players like Jalen Banks in the front seven will have to rely on quickness to make plays.
For Colquitt County, the playmakers are so plenteous that one could virtually close his or her eyes and point to someone on its roster who’s being recruited by a Power Five or Division I school. Junior quarterback Jaycee Harden has proven himself efficient, throwing for close to 1,000 yards, completing 60 percent of his passes and tossing 10 touchdowns as opposed to just one interception. He spreads the ball out to close to a dozen receivers with none having more than 14 catches. The two-headed running back monster of senior Ty Leggett and junior Daijuan Edwards accounts for close to 1,200 rushing yards and 16 of Colquitt’s 17 rushing touchdowns.
Alcovy wins…If it can play probably the most perfect game its ever played in school history, while simultaneously hoping for Colquitt to severely underestimate the Tigers to the point where it makes the Packers play sloppy and out of sorts all night. Alcovy will also likely have to find at least a few decent sized plays down field in the passing game to loosen up that Packers front seven against the run.
Colquitt County wins…If it takes care of business and doesn’t treat Alcovy too lightly. Funny things happen when you give a seemingly outmatched team hope that lingers deep into the fourth quarter.
The Prediction: No offense to the Tigers, but this one could get ugly on the scoreboard. One thing is certain, Alcovy will fight and a good bit of its players will, no doubt, see this game as a golden opportunity to prove that the Tigers are no pushover. That could make for a few competitive moments, particularly early, but we believe Colquitt just has too much talent, speed, size and depth for Alcovy to make a serious upset bid. Score: Colquitt County 52, Alcovy 7.