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Tigers steadily improving but have long way to go

Nobody wants to be 0-4, but Alcovy head coach Kirk Hoffman knows he has to be patient because this is a marathon not a sprint.

“We feel like we’re getting better. We still got a long ways to go. We know that. We just gotta keep plugging away and get these kids a lot of game time,” Hoffman said.

Hoffman has been playing his young guys all season, swapping them out, especially in the backfield, so that everyone gets game experience. Hoffman does this not only to prepare them to for this but the next. The Tigers have a lot of freshman players, with that comes a lack of experience at the high school level.

With that lack of experience comes a lack of discipline at times. Hoffman knows that his team isn’t ready for complex schemes, so he’s keeping it simple.

“We’re still just being a disciplined football program. We’re getting better,” Hoffman said. “A lot of people don’t realize against Tift for a whole quarter it was 0-0. Tift didn’t score until it was six minutes to go in the half. We were playing pretty good ball and then that rainstorm came in there and they regrouped and we didn’t. So we just gotta continue to keep playing disciplined football. We’re a gap controlled defense and we gotta make sure we’re in the right gaps.”

Staying within their reads and adhering to Hoffman’s philosophy will determine if Alcovy will be able to keep Lamar County’s rushing attack at bay.

Lamar uses an option attack out of the backfield, and they have at least three different players capable of reeling off big gains downfield. Last week against Ola, Trojans’ running back Juan Tucker had three touchdowns, while running back Nathan Eure and quarterback LJ Smith had big games of their own.

On offense, Hoffman wants his team to not turn the ball over against Lamar, which is something that has hindered them throughout the season. Turnovers and dropped balls.

“We gotta take care of the football. If you go back and you look at Pebblebrook, I don’t think people realize we had 340 yards of offense. But we put the ball on the ground eight times. We didn’t lose all of ‘em, but when you fumble eight times, that’s a drive stopper,” Hoffman said. “We gotta hang on to the football in the air. We’re averaging three or four drops a game. You can’t do that. So the big thing for us offensively is hanging on to the football. We need to get some breaks.”

Hoffman wants his team to make their own breaks. Breaks such as, forcing turnovers, holding on to the ball and playing a game without making mistakes, getting penalites. This is the Tigers last tune-up game before region play begins, and that’s when Hoffman wants to see all the young players begin their transition to being veterans.

“Going into region play we still got a long ways to go because this region is tough. There’s no doubt about it,” Hoffman said. “The great thing about this is if the light turns on for us we can get a whole lot better real quick. The big thing is just finding a way to keep ourselves in some ball games. If we can do that we’ll always have a chance.”