With an extra week to prepare, it's safe to say that the Alcovy varsity football team is eager to hit the field Thursday night against Morrow.
The Tigers travel to Morrow tomorrow night to take on a Mustangs' program that has seen a lackluster start to its 2013 season.
The Mustangs sit 0-2 in region play and 1-5 overall and have been outscored 72-12 in their first two region outings against Rockdale County and Lovejoy.
While the Mustangs are on the Tigers' minds this week, Alcovy coach Kirk Hoffman said the team spent much of last week on itself, tweaking defensive packages and its play along the offensive line.
"Offensively, we worked on staying on our blocks.," Hoffman said. "We went back and looked at film, and we were getting to the right places; we just weren’t keeping our blocks long enough. That’s going to be a big focus for us this week.
"Defensively, we had some blown assignments so we went back and tried to simplify our defensive package so that everyone was on the same page," he said.
While the Mustangs' résumé may not be the most impressive one in the region this year, Hoffman said that they have the ability to hurt the Tigers' defense if the Tigers are not prepared Thursday night.
"If you look at who they have played, they have played a lot of quality teams," Hoffman said. "Lee County and Lovejoy are two of the toughest teams you can face. Morrow is a quality football team. Their quarterback (Charles Gibson) might be the best quarterback we've seen all year. He's a smart football player and is a great quarterback. He's going to make things happen. We have to find a way to keep him from making big plays.
"On the defensive side of the ball, we have to make sure that we know where we are supposed to be when the ball is snapped," he said. "That all goes back to our defensive schemes and what we worked on last week."
On offense, the Tigers' coach said that "mistake free football" will help Alcovy tame the Mustangs.
The Tigers are averaging just 14 points a contest in their two losses this season, including a 17-14 loss to rival Newton on Oct. 4
"We have to play mistakes free football," Hoffman said. "When you make a mistake, you play right into their hands. They have some bid kids up front on their defensive line that are going to slow us down, but we have to find ways around that."
With a win over Morrow, the Tigers would move to 2-1 in the conference, just a game out of first place behind league leaders Lovejoy and Newton.
A loss would also drop Morrow to 0-3 in the region.
Hoffman said it was essential for the Tigers to keep momentum moving against Morrow so that Alcovy can stay in the region race.
"When you look at our region, everyone is still in the mix," he said. "You have to make sure that you stay up with the leaders of the pack. That's what this game is about. We have to win games and position ourselves within the region to have a shot at the region title at the end of the year. This game is important for that.
"One of our goals is always to win the region and this keeps us working towards that goal. We are always looking for wins," Hoffman said.
While the Tigers are used to having home contests on Thursday night at Sharp Stadium, Alcovy will have to travel this week for their early game.
Morrow's lone win came at home earlier this season against Perry.
Despite having to travel during the week, Hoffman said going on the road shouldn't have much impact on how the Tigers compete tomorrow night.
"Since we've opened, we've always seemed to have at least one Thursday night game. As a coaching staff, we have an idea of how we want to do things and how we want our team to approach a game like this. I don't really think it will be a problem or a distraction for our players this week. It's just something we have to do and something we've grown accustomed to handling."
Game time against the Mustangs is set for 7:30 p.m.