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Tigers continue to roll
Alcovy tops Ola 14-3 on homecoming night for fourth straight win
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Homecoming games are always ones high school football teams look forward to. Especially if you're Alcovy and you know you're playing Ola.

Having never lost to the Mustangs, the Tigers pushed their unbeaten streak to four Friday with a 14-3 win while also wrapping up their four-game homestand 4-0. In addition, Alcovy (4-2, 3-0 Region 3A-AAAA) remains atop the subregion standings with three games to play before the region playoff. The top three teams earn at least a chance to advance to the Class AAAA playoffs.

"We didn't play well but we found a way to win," Alcovy coach Kirk Hoffman said. "People underestimate Ola. They've hung around with everybody (they've played). They do some things well. They have some nice size backs and they pound you a little bit."

Alcovy's three-headed monster was out in force. Tre Sorrells for rumbled for a 20-yard touchdown run in the first quarter and Cornell White found Devon Edwards in the third for a 9-yard touchdown strike. Edwards, White and Sorrells also carried the bulk of Alcovy's offense. White carried for a team-high 96 yards while Sorrells chewed up 66 on the ground. Edwards ran for 51 yards and clipped off another 38 yards on a kickoff return and each had spectacular long runs.

"What people don't realize is our timing is not there because Tre has only practiced a week and a half," Hoffman said. "People want us to come out here and hit the option but we're not real sure about that timing yet."

Penalties hurt the Tigers on a few of those runs though and Alcovy turned the ball over twice on White interceptions and failed to take advantage of a blocked punt and short field in the second half.

"We tried to change the pace coming off the turnover (blocked punt) but things didn't work out," Hoffman said. "How many times did we have a nice run called back? I can think of three off the top of my head. We'd break a long run then we get a flag. We just have to continue to work and get better."

At times Alcovy's offense looked in rhythm. Other times it sputtered. White wasn't sharp in the passing game but broke off a nice 26-yard run in the second quarter. But a holding call netted him only six yards on the play and the Tigers were unable to capitalize.

Sorrells and Edwards lined up together for just the second time all season on a few downs and both found running room inside as the feature back after cutting back against the grain. The Tigers were able to move the ball efficiently on the ground at times but also failed to convert to fourth-and-1 plays and turned the ball over on downs.

"They (teams) are not letting us get on the perimeter and when you can't get on the perimeter, we're not big enough inside so we're trying some traps and stuff like that and that's where the holdings are coming in at," Hoffman said. "We went to the two-back set — we were jamming it in there, and the pitch was there a few times, but we've only practiced it maybe four days and it takes longer than that to get the option in."

Sorrells broke the seal on the game's score on the last play of the first quarter on a 20-yard run over the left side. He broke several tackles along the way before finding the end zone. Sorrells run was setup by an 18-yard run by White.

Ola cracked the scoreboard with a 42-yard field goal minutes before halftime. Alcovy opened the second half with a nine-play, 53-yard drive that ate more than four minutes of clock. After White's 12-yard run set the Tigers up at the Ola 10, he threw a laser to Edwards from the 9-yard line with 7:57 to play in the third quarter to make it a 14-3 game.

Alcovy's defense set the tone on Ola's first drive. After the Mustangs picked up four first downs on their opening drive, the Tigers stood firm on fourth-and-1 to end the drive. After White's touchdown pass, the defense gave up just one more first down the rest of the way and the offense went into conservation mode.

"At the time I thought defensively, we'd been on the field a long time and I wanted to give them some rest — knowing that they (Ola) were two scores down," Hoffman said. "With Devon and Kenard (Murry) playing both ways, it was way for me to get that 30-second breather between plays."

After failing to capitalize on the blocked punt and good field position, the Tigers' running game, in particular Edwards controlled the clock in the fourth quarter. The Tigers overcame another holding penalty to convert a long third down thanks to Edwards' tough 18-yard run in which he broke several tackles, then converted another a 15-yarder before running out the clock on their final drive. Edwards ran for 36 of his total yards on the drive.

"At times we made mistakes, but I thought we bounced back," Hoffman said. "Now we have to go back to work. We have two, maybe three good teams still ahead of us so we are going to have to line up and we have to fix some things on the inside running game. We have to get better on the inside running game."