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Power Check
Fresh off two straight wins, Alcovy faces tough test with Griffin
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There's a different vibe around Alcovy's practices these days. The mood is spirited, coaches are focused and everyone seems, well, happy. After bouncing back from an 0-2 start to reel of a pair of wins, including a drubbing of reigning Class AAAA runner-up Starr's Mill, the Tigers have a bounce to their step not seen in two years.

"There's a lot of excitement around here," Alcovy coach Kirk Hoffman said. "This is the first team here at Alcovy I can say the whole team really loves to play. When I say that, I mean, these kids love to come to practice and compete and they really have fun. That's been big for us. These kids just play so hard."

Of course, as good as the Tigers feel about themselves right now things can change in an instant. That's why Alcovy will certainly have to play hard again tonight when they host Griffin at Sharp Stadium at 7:30.

Alcovy looks to make it two-for-two in subregion

After stumbling out of the gate, the Tigers shocked Starr's Mill the played just well enough to beat Union Grove last week. Things don't get any easier with Griffin, a team two seasons removed from finishing runner-up to Sandy Creek. Making the task even more difficult, the Bears lost to Jones County last week and haven't started 0-2 in league play in more than a decade. In fact the last time Griffin lost more than two region games was in 2003.

"When you talk about Griffin, you talk about a team with one of the best records throughout the state the past 10-11 years," Hoffman said. "They are a very good team. Our first five games are brutal. This is that fifth game in that stretch."

Alcovy hasn't fared well against Griffin in the past. In three meetings, the Bears have outscored the Tigers 108-16, winning each matchup. But the Tigers have a renewed optimism. More than that, they have the most balanced offense they've ever had over that span.

The Tigers found a passing game in week three. Cornell White missed the opener but came back to have a decent season debut at Harris County. Against Starr's Mill, White exploded for 268 passing yards and a school-record four touchdowns. He also ran for a 30 yards and a touchdown.

"It's his (White) second year in the system and I think he's beginning to understand it a little bit more," Hoffman said. "He's not afraid to make a play. Our offense is designed for the quarterback to make plays. He's still fairly young so when he makes mistakes, you want to make sure he understands he needs to keep firing bullets. You don't want to go down with bullets in your holster."

Devon Edwards has been the catalyst all year. He's averaging 53 yards per kickoff return with two touchdowns while also serving as Alcovy's most explosive running back. After missing the 2010 season with an injury, Edwards has surprised coaches with his play.

"He's (Edwards) always a threat," Hoffman said. "We're not surprised at how well he's played but we are from the standpoint of, we didn't know how he would bounce back from missing the year. I don't think you can find a better kid to coach though. He practices hard — he plays hard — he brings everything to the table and is probably one of the most humble kids you'll ever be around."

White's main target is another Tiger enjoying a season of redemption. Kenard Murry caught five passes for 170 yards in the Starr's Mill game and has been Alcovy's best deep threat. Like Edwards, Murry was a cheerleader on the sidelines in 2010 after injuring his hand in week two. All he's done this year is catch at least one pass in each game and amass more than 300 yards receiving.

With the offense finding its groove, the Tigers have yet to receive any help from their All-Region running back Tre Sorrells. He left early in week one and hasn't taken a snap since. Sorrells will be back in the lineup tonight and will provide a change of pace to Edwards' and White's quickness.

Alcovy's toughest assignment will be on both lines of scrimmage. Griffin has a bruising running game and Alcovy's line isn't very big as a whole. Defensively it's a similar story. Alcovy doesn't bring much size to the table on the line and at linebacker. What it does bring is good speed solid cornerback play. White and Edwards each play defensive back as does Murry. Hoffman said the Tigers will bank on effort, the key ingredient to its recent surge.

"We're going to find out where we're at," Hoffman said. "The key so far has been effort. When we make mistakes, we're making them at 100 miles an hour. When you do that, good things are going to happen too. I'm excited to see how we handle it."

games while the Bears are seeking their first subregion win.