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PREP FOOTBALL: Tigers looking for first win at Duluth
Alcovy FB
Alcovy will try to get in the win column this Friday after opening its season with back-to-back blowout losses. - Anthony Banks | The Covington News

COVINGTON, Ga. — Coming off back-to-back blowout losses to open the season, the Alcovy High School football team will try to get in the win column this Friday when it travels to Duluth to take on the Wildcats.

The Tigers will be looking to spoil the party for Duluth, which will be opening its season this Friday after seeing the start of its 2020 campaign delayed due to COVID-19 complications. They’ll also be looking to avoid starting out 0-3 for the second straight season.

It will be just the third all-time meeting between the two programs. Alcovy won the first two battles, most recently collecting a 37-22 victory over Duluth in its 2017 season opener.

Under the guidance of second-year head coach Jason Dukes, the Tigers have squared off against a pair of formidable foes early on this year.

They went on the road in Week 1 and suffered a 35-3 loss at the hands of a North Forsyth team that won a game in the Class AAAAAAA state playoffs last fall. The Raiders followed that victory with an upset of defending Class AAAAAA state champion Harrison this past Friday.

The road didn’t get much easier for Alcovy in Week 2. Despite a strong defensive effort that kept them at a respectable distance going into halftime, the Tigers were unable to produce enough offense to keep up with county rival Newton. Like in their loss to North Forsyth, they found themselves prone to giving up big plays — the Rams scored on passing plays of 47 and 72 yards in addition to a 97-yard kickoff return.

Duluth posted a 1-9 record in 2019 while going winless against Region 6-AAAAAAA competition. 

The Wildcats return the majority of their starters on offense, led by junior quarterback Lonnie Ratliff, who racked up nearly 2,700 yards of total offense and 14 touchdowns a season ago. Ratliff will also have his top target back in senior Jaiden Jones, who led last year’s team with 57 receptions for 888 yards and six touchdowns.

On the defensive side of the ball, however, Duluth will be bringing back only five starters from last year.

Friday night’s game is scheduled to kick off at 7:30 p.m.