The 2013 football season didn't open the way the Alcovy Tigers expected.
Up by 14 early in the first half, the Tigers (0-1) looked prepared to roll Jones County (1-0) in its season opener, but 17 consecutive points from the Greyhounds ended the Tigers' hopes of a road victory, as Alcovy fell 17-14 in overtime Friday night at Greyhound Field.
The Tigers were stopped twice in overtime on the 1-yard line and coach Kirk Hoffman said the team missed multiple opportunities to put the game out of the Greyhounds' reach.
"When the game is close between two evenly matched teams, sometimes things aren't going to go your way," Hoffman said. "We played well. They played well. We didn't get, or create, any breaks for ourselves and things didn't go our way tonight.
"I thought overall we outgained them in every category and defensively we played well," he said. "The kids played well and I'm proud of them."
The Tigers opened the game with an early first-quarter score, finding the endzone on a 30-yard pass from quarterback Tristen Payne to wideout Jaylin Penny.
Alcovy missed the ensuing extra point, putting the Tigers ahead 6-0 through a quarter of play.
In the second period, the Tigers' defense put points on the scoreboard, forcing a Greyhound safety to push Alcovy's advantage to 8-0.
Alcovy scored its 14th consecutive point on the ground before the end of the half, using a 2-yard run from Jared Farley for the team's second touchdown of the game.
Jones County answered the Tigers' early offensive onslaught with its first score with 46 seconds to go in the first half.
"We had a poor punt that put Jones County deep into our territory," Hoffman said. "They responded before the half to cut into our lead."
The punt put the Greyhounds at Alcovy's 23-yard line. Two plays later, Jones County scored, sending the Tigers into the break with a 14-7 lead.
On the third quarter's opening drive, the Greyhounds drove nearly 80 yards for the game-tying score, negating the Tigers' early first-half lead.
"We played defense really well except for the one drive to start the third quarter," Hoffman said.
Neither team found the end zone in the fourth quarter, forcing an overtime period.
In overtime, Jones County used a 22-yard field goal to go ahead 17-14, but the Tigers had one final drive to earn the road victory.
With a 3rd-and-goal from the 1-yard line, the Tigers twice tried to punch the ball in from the goalline, but the Greyhound defense held, halting Alcovy's bid for the win.
"The call was tough," Hoffman said. "We just didn't capitalize when we had the chance. We have to get better. Three times we drove it between the 20- and 30-yard lines and we came away with nothing. A bad snap took us out of a series, a penalty on another.
"First-game problems hit us at the wrong time and we have to do a better job of handling that into next week," he said. "I thought we played well, but we just didn't make the plays when we needed to."
With the loss, Alcovy falls to 0-1 on the season.
The Tigers will return to action next week when they host Perry at Sharp Stadium in Friday, Sept. 6, in a 7:30 p.m. contest.