EVANS, Ga. — Defense and special teams were the key factors of the game for the Tigers as they won a tough region game on the road against the Lakeside Panthers, 13-3.
After starting 2-0 in Region 3-AAAAAA, the Tigers would not have as easy of a time facing the Panthers as they did last year when they were victorious 35-0.
Both defenses ran the game for the first two quarters as there was no offense to be found for either team early on.
The Lakeside opening drive drained the entire first half of the opening quarter, but the Tigers defense would not let the prolonged drive tire them as they eventually forced a punt.
The Tigers did not fare much better on their opening drives as they started the game with two punts. Alcovy eventually broke out with the help of Ashton Evans, as the junior quarterback made a few key throws to set up senior running back Tristan Mayweather to move the sticks inside of the Panthers’ red zone.
The promising drive fell flat when the Tigers reached the 10-yard line of the Panthers as they had to be forced to settle with the field goal. Junior Braxton Crawford, who had two outstanding punts earlier in the game, nailed the 25-yard field goal to put the Tigers up 3-0 early in the second quarter.
On third and goal with only three seconds left in the half, the Panthers had the ball on the goal line.
The ensuing play would be a puzzling one as the play would be run but called dead on a penalty by Lakeside as time expired. The penalty was declined by the Tigers to force overtime, but one referee on the far side of the field came around late however and called the play a touchdown.
The Tigers were then forced to accept the penalty to negate the touchdown and the whole Alcovy team had to come back out of the locker room for one final play on fourth and goal with no clock.
Despite the efforts of Dukes and the Alcovy fans, the score stood and the Tigers had to go into the locker room without the lead they had prior.
Mayweather opened the second half with a great drive, as the senior tailback moved the Tigers down the field and into the Lakeside red zone.
Despite another quality opportunity for a touchdown, the Tigers had to settle for another field goal as Crawford knocked it down from 20-yards out to give Alcovy the lead back at 6-3. Momentum was moving towards the Tigers, and they took advantage on their next offensive drive, as Evans found junior Alex Mitchell across the middle for the 21-yard touchdown with under a minute left in the third quarter.
Up to that point, Evans had not passed many times, but when he did, he was staying poised in the pocket and not making any bad throws.
The Tigers defense would play the final quarter the same way they did the whole game as they shut down the Lakeside run game from getting into scoring position.
The Alcovy offense would control the ball for majority of the final quarter as they ran the clock down and came away with the 13-3 victory over the Panthers. The win moves the Tigers to 3-0 in the region. They take on Heritage next week.