Alcovy is running out of opportunities to work out the kinks before its Region 2-AAAAAA football season begins against Luella on Sept. 28.
The Tigers have a road game at Jackson on Sept. 21 and a home date versus Eastside today to get ready for the six playoff-deciding matchups on its schedule.
In those two games, Alcovy not only needs to find a way to win its first game but also a way to work on some of the things that plagued it in a 21-16 loss to Jones County and a 29-17 loss to Perry last week.
Chief among what the Tigers need to improve on is their ability to hold on to the ball.
Alcovy committed four turnovers in its opening game and three more in its second.
"We've got to cut down on the mistakes and cut down on penalties. We have to try to get getting in the category I call ‘beating yourselves,'" Alcovy coach Kirk Hoffman said. "The last two games we've done a lot of things beating ourselves - we have to stop penalties and turnovers."
Quarterback Marcus Williams has had his hand in those turnovers, throwing four interceptions, including three in the first week. However, Hoffman said, some of that has been improved. In some cases, Hoffman said the reads weren't there early on, and other cases were things liked tipped balls.
"Really only once (an interception) came on a bad read," Hoffman said. "In the first game the kid made a great interception on a deep pass and then we had a tip ball that gets intercepted. The big thing is to not let the turnovers eat you up and to get better at it."
The Tigers have been hard at work during practices all this week trying to get better at holding on to the ball. They haven't been taping footballs to their hands or running sprints until they fell to instill the importance of keeping possession, but have been working on technique in situations where they are pushing for extra yards.
"We've been battling to get extra yards and have been putting the ball on the ground," Hoffman said. "We have to make a conscious effort to limit the turnovers."
Every possession will count today as Alcovy brings 16.5 points a game against the Eagles, who are allowing just seven throughout its first two contests.
Eastside, the area's only unbeaten team after two games, shutout Newton 32-0 in its opener before beating Jackson 23-14 last week.
The Eagles trailed 14-3 after scoring 20 straight and shutting out Jackson in the final quarter just a week ago. That's the type of defense Alcovy faces today as it looks to get in the win column for the first time in 2012.
To do so, it will need to gets a little more in rhythm on its offense, and continue to develop Williams as the Tigers continue to pass more than they have in the past.
Alcovy showed that improvement against Perry, tallying 340 yards of offense, 194 coming on 44 carries. Williams was 12 of 19 with one interception for 146 yards.
"I thought we did some things offensively we haven't been able to do in a while," Hoffman said. "I thought we had little improvement there."
The Tigers' offense will not only have to deal with Eastside's pressure this week but also the fact that it is a rivalry game in front of two home crowds at Sharp Stadium.
Alcovy's last win in the series was 3-0 in 2009. It was the Tigers only win all-time against Eastside, as the average score of the six-game series is 23.3-7.8 in favor of the Eagles.