The Alcovy Tigers have a chance tonight to post their best regular-season record in school history.
And, oh yeah, win a region title.
The Tigers host No. 2 Lovejoy tonight at Sharp Stadium in a battle for the No. 1 seed in Region 2-AAAAAA. But a tall test stands between Alcovy and its postseason goal.
The Wildcats enter tonight's contest with an 8-1 record and have strung together 31 consecutive region victories since their last loss to Chapel Hill in 2009.
Alcovy coach Kirk Hoffman knows that his team will have to play an almost perfect game against the Wildcats to finish the night as region champions, but he believes that the Tigers are ready for the challenge.
"We've had a good week of practice," Hoffman said. "The kids understand what we are playing for, but they also understand it's the next game and that's why it's important."
Hoffman said a win over the Wildcats would give Alcovy the credit he feels the program has earned over the last few seasons.
"We're not given a lot of credit down here," he said. "If you go back and look at what we have accomplished over the last three years, including making the playoffs three of the last five years — and we've competed for region championships — a lot of people don't look at that. I think we've snuck up and become a pretty good program in this county."
The Tigers fell a season ago in the two programs' only meeting, losing 56-0 on the road to the Wildcats. Hoffman said that last season's result hasn't been a focus for this team.
"Last year's result hasn't come into focus for us," he said. "That was last year. This is a new team. There is no doubt we are playing a good Lovejoy team, but we have to play our game and prepare for this year. We just want to go out and play hard."
Hoffman said that the Wildcats' offense, led by quarterback Khaleel
Rogers and wideout Preston Williams, is as explosive as they come in the region.
"They can score from anywhere on the field," Hoffman said. "They have outstanding receivers and their offensive line does a great job. When you look at them on film, you are just in amazement because they can score on any play.
"When they have a bad play, they don't get down on themselves or let it bother them," he said. "They know they can come right back on the next play and hurt you."
Hoffman said that the Tigers will have to remain consistent on offense to thwart the Wildcats' defense.
"Tradition has shown that they are going to be a good football team on defense," Hoffman said. "They run to the ball and make you pay. The kids very seldom make mistakes. We're going to have to be smart and consistent on offense against them."