EVANS, Ga. — When the Alcovy football team sets its feet on Augusta area soil for the second straight week Friday night, it will be hoping for something different than the last time.
Last Friday, the Tigers not only lost another Region 3-AAAAAA game, but they did so without their field general in junior quarterback, Cameron Anderson.
In Alcovy’s 43-10 loss to Grovetown, Anderson went down early after re-aggravating a shoulder injury he sustained against Henry County.
Nick Simmons came in and replaced him, tossing his first career touchdown pass against Grovetown, and then drawing his first start last week against Evans. But what Alcovy coach, Chris Edgar was hoping would be a temporary absence for Anderson has turned into something else.
“Cam is now out for the season,” Edgar said. “We were hoping Cam was going to be back for the Heritage and Greenbrier games, but unfortunately he got the MRI results back on Tuesday and the doctor said he’s out.”
Although the prognosis for getting on the field is not what Edgar had hoped, he said both Anderson, Simmons and the team has shown the kind of maturity in the situation that lets him believe the Tigers are ready to move forward.
“(Cam’s) spirits are good, and he’s been a great supporter and teammate of Nick,” Edgar said. “We have confidence in Nick. He’s done everything we’ve asked him to do both in last week’s game and this week in preparation. He’s going to be a captain this week. So this is Nick’s team the rest of the year, and I feel he’s more than capable, and our guys will be there to stay behind him.”
Edgar said Simmons brings a slightly different skill set to the position than Anderson who was considered a bit of a dual-threat guy. Simmons has a solid arm, but Edgar said some may be surprised at his mobility in and out of the pocket.
“He’s deceptively mobile,” Edgar said. “We do a drill in practice where he scrambles and has to hit a target on the run, and every time he was very accurate. And on top of that, he throws a nice ball.”
Edgar said Simmons’ abilities will allow his offense to continue moving the pocket. He’s also planning to experiment with Quindrelin Hammonds at the slot and find ways to pair him with Andrae Robinson in the same backfield.
“Where we have success is letting our athletes be athletes,” Edgar said. “We can hit a long pass if we need to. But we also like the seven and eight yard pass where our receivers can turn it into a 20 to 30 yard play. Those are just as good.”
Regardless of the X’s and O’s, Edgar says he’s still looking for two main things from his team in the home stretch of the season: Intensity and the resolve to finish the season in the midst of a playoff berth.
“We turned up the physicality in practice this week,” Edgar said. “Right now, it’s gonna be their desire. Lines gotta block. Receivers gotta block. Defensive players need to be in position to make tackles. Lakeside is a little different than Evans. They like to throw it a little more. They’re pretty balanced. But again, it’s desire. Our morale is good. We know that if we win two of the next three games we’re in the playoffs. If we don’t we’re not. So this game is critical to those goals.”