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SPRING FOOTBALL: Alcovy falls to Woodland in spring game, but optimistic heading into summer
Alcovy Defense
Alcovy's Logan Wyatt (9) and Demetrius Thrower (15) converge to take down a ball carrier during Thursday's spring football game at Woodward-Stockbridge. - photo by Sydney Chacon

Alcovy football coach Chris Edgar

Alcovy football coach Chris Edgar gives his postgame reaction to the Tigers’ 20-6 loss to Woodland-Stockbridge Thursday night.
By: By Gabriel Stovall

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STOCKBRIDGE, Ga. — It was a bit like Deja vu for the Alcovy Tigers during Thursday night’s spring football game at Woodland. 

This time last year the Tigers went to Miller Grove and played the first half of the spring game in a torrential downpour. Fast forward to Thursday, and once again Alcovy saw the skies open just before kickoff. 

“It doesn’t seem like an Alcovy spring game without a downpour,” said Alcovy football coach Chris Edgar. “This is the third year in a row.”  (See above video for full comments from Coach Edgar).

With no threat of lightening, however, the game continued and was a defensive slosh fest as the rain fell. Although offense was hard to come by, it was Alcovy’s Adrian Robinson who generated the game’s first explosive offensive play. He did it when he broke free for a 45-yard run, but it was negated by a holding penalty. 

A couple of possessions later, Woodland went on a solid eight-play drive that took them inside Alcovy’s 10 yard line. But the Wolfpack whiffed on the 22-yard field goal attempt to keep the game scoreless. 

On Alcovy’s ensuing possession, quarterback Nicholas Simmons tossed a pass in the flat to Jaquez Snell, but the pass bounced off of Snell’s hands and fell into the grasp of Woodland’s No. 4 who returned it back to the Woodland 18. 

The Wolfpack ran three fairly fruitless plays, yardage wise and settled for a 27-yard field goal to take a 3-0 lead with 8:43 left in the second quarter. 

Alcovy had a chance to connect on a big play on the next drive when Simmons found Adrian Robinson streaking down the sideline as he outran the Woodland coverage, but the pass was slightly overthrown, and would’ve been a sure touchdown if it were on target. 

Robinson also dropped an interception on third down when the Tigers’ defense came on the field after that stalled out drive. Alcovy’s defense, in general, was on point for most of the night with its front seven able to get routine penetration into Woodland’s offensive back field. 

“We wanted physicality tonight, and that’s what they gave us,” Edgar said. “Our defense was aggressive and made it hard for Woodland to get anything going all night.”

Right before Robinson’s dropped interception, Logan Wyatt and La’Ken Nettles converged on Woodland’s quarterback for a sack. On Woodland’s next offensive possession, Adrian Robinson and Demetrius Thrower met at Woodland’s quarterback again on a second down stop, and Cameron Daniels wrapped up on a ball carrier for a two-yard loss on the following play. 

Yet another third down sack, this time by Wyatt and Thrower, set up Alcovy for a score right before the half. 

Simmons connected with Adrian Robinson for a 34-yard gain, bringing the ball to the Woodland eight yard line with 1.8 seconds remaining. A defensive pass interference call on the next play helped push Alcovy close enough to benefit from a field goal by Jose Ramos that was little more than extra point distance, knotting the score at 3-3 at the second quarter buzzer. 

With Alcovy inserting most of its reservers and some freshman into the game for the third quarter, Woodland, still keeping some starters in for the duration of the game, was able to tack on another field goal and a long touchdown pass — the latter play coming at the 5:28 mark of the fourth quarter, providing the game’s final margin. 

The game was called shortly after due to an approaching thunderstorm with nearby lightening strikes. But ultimately for Edgar, Thursday night’s game was less about the final tally on the scoreboard, and more about getting a chance to evaluate his guys against a true opponent. 

“There’s a lot to work on for us, but that’s the great thing about spring games,” Edgar said. “We’ve got film and we’ve got time to work on it going into the summer.”

Gabriel’s Hot Takes 

It’s tough to get a full game’s read on a spring football game, particularly when you know Alcovy coach Chris Edgar is only going to give his starters one solid half of action in these settings. 

Woodland’s starters saw considerably more action. 

Perhaps Alcovy defensive lineman Jalen Banks had the quote of the night to summarize how the Tigers felt about the way they played when it was 1s on 1s.

Here are three quick takes on Thursday night’s game. 

1. The offense is still a work in progress. Typically that’s to be expected at this point in the year, especially when you’re installing as much offensive newness as Alcovy is with Damoi’n Wright taking over duties as offensive coordinator. Edgar acknowledged that Alcovy didn’t show much offensively, but there were some bright spots. Quarterback Nicholas Simmons showed that he does have some elusiveness and ability to handle the “run” part of the run-pass option aspect of the offense. He also had some nice throws, one deep one that would’ve scored if he put just a little bit more touch on it. Would like to see him get it out a little quicker on the release, but one thing about Simmons, he’s a gamer and he will be more than willing to put in the work. 

Adrian Robinson looked good at tailback, and the offensive line had its moments, but will definitely be looking for consistency in the summer. 

2. Alcovy’s defense is fun to watch. After the last 5:24 of the game was called off thanks to the threat of lightening, Alcovy defensive back Andrae Robinson made his own candid observation of his defense as the team rushed off the field into the locker room in another downpour. Robinson remarked to one of his teammates: “Man, I’m convinced. We have one of the best secondaries in the state. Obviously lots of football will be played before we determine that in earnest, but everything from the front seven to the back four looked stingy Thursday night against a Woodland team that has a smattering of varsity guys who look like fairly explosive athletes. 

Jalen Banks had a solid night with six tackles, a sack and two hurries. But Logan Wyatt, Demetrius Thrower, Cameron Daniels, La’Ken Nettles, James Adams and others took turns penetrating the Woodland offensive backfield all night. Just from judging by tonight, it’s a fast and physical unit that can cover the back end well. 

3. Young player watch. One thing Alcovy will certainly work to develop during the summer is quarterback depth behind Simmons. The Tigers tried several guys behind center in the second half, but I was impressed with rising junior Javari Smith. He’s a 6-foot-2, 186 pounder who’s listed as a TE/OLB/SS on the team’s MaxPreps roster. But he showed some potential as a tough runner in a zone-read offensive scheme. He made a couple of good reads, along with a bad quarterback-running back exchange that resulted in a turnover. But he made some tough, downhill runs and he looks like a gamer. Not sure if Smith is going to stick around on the quarterback depth chart going forward, but it couldn’t hurt to have that kind of a physical player at their disposal.