In its seventh year of existence, Alcovy is headed to the state football playoffs for the third time today, looking for its ever playoff win.
The third-seeded Tigers travel to second-seed Newnan, out of Region 3-AAAAAA, today at 7:30 p.m.
The Tigers made their first appearance in 2009, before earning another postseason berth last year. Now for the first time, it's headed to back-to-back playoffs led by a group of seniors who have blazed the successful path at Alcovy.
"That's a credit to the kids in the program," Alcovy coach Kirk Hoffman said. "It takes a couple of years to get competitive. This is back-to-back for us and three out of the last four years.
"I feel this is a great accomplishment for the senior class."
Among those who have been able to see multiple playoff games for the first time at Alcovy are seniors Marcus Williams, Cornell White and Bret Dunn, among others.
Williams and White will headline the offense once again today with both getting time at quarterback. White was the signal caller when Alcovy traveled to Tri-Cities for the 2011 playoffs, and Williams started 2012 as the starting quarterback.
Both will figure into the offense today against a Newnan team, which has won three straight, including a 21-7 victory over East Coweta last week to earn the third seed.
The Cougars will try to get Alcovy to turn the ball like the Tigers did earlier in the season, though Alcovy has since corrected its ways.
On the offensive side of the ball, Newnan is a run-heavy team trying to control the clock.
"They're a traditional AAAAAA power, and they're going to try to run the ball right at you and pound you a little bit," Hoffman said. "Defensively we're going to have to stay in there and get physical back.
"Offensively, any coach will tell you, you have to hang on to the football and take care of the football."
The Cougars offensive front is small but fast and able to move the ball when needed, as they did to the tune of 24.2 points per game this season.
"He's going to have his team ready to play, and they're going to be well organized and disciplined," Hoffman said of Newnan coach Mike McDonald. "He's always been one to try to control the running game."
While Newnan looks to control the gaps in the line of scrimmage and use its speed at the second level, Alcovy will look to remain disciplined with the help of its playoff experience.
"I think what's going to happen is some of the kids have been there before and know how important every down and every snap is," Hoffman said. "The upper classmen know everyone is back to 0-0 and the biggest thing is to have to bring your ‘A' game every week."
The Tigers lost to Tri-Cities 51-28 last season and fell to Thomas County Central 15-8 in 2009.
Newnan defeated Valdosta in the state playoffs a year ago, 17-7, before falling to Dacula 32-21 in the second round.
The Cougars have reached the playoffs every year since 2003.