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Tigers stumble in first quarter, fall
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PERRY - Alcovy's second in loss in as many games was a rocky affair from the start.

The Perry Panthers put up 16 first-quarter points en route to a 29-17 win Friday night.

Perry (1-1) notched a kickoff return for a touchdown, a booming 42-yard field goal, stifling defense and an interception return for a touchdown in the first 12 minutes.

The Panthers then got a return of a long lateral for a touchdown to give them a little breathing room in the victory.

Perry coach Stacey Harden had the exhausted look of somebody who played in the game, after watching his offense struggle most of the game.

"Offensively, we weren't hitting on all cylinders, that's for sure," Harden said. "Fortunately, we were able to make a big play there, made some big plays in the kicking game, intercepted a pass. Luckily, we found a way to win. That's the big thing."

Despite the early control, Alcovy wouldn't be held back for long by Perry.

Alcovy trailed by one touchdown when quarterback Marcus Williams stepped back and threw barely backwards to the right flat.

The throw, a lateral, bounced, and Perry sophomore cornerback K.J. Smith alertly grabbed it and took off running, not stopping until he had completed the 70-yard play.

That put Perry up by 12 with 8:39 left in the game, although Alcovy kept battling, and the game ended with the Tigers inside the 5.

"I'm glad to have the win, don't get me wrong," said Harden, who was without a number of regulars, including wideout/defensive back A.J Riley and lineman Joe Rucker. "We gutted it out."

Early on, it didn't seem like the Panthers would need such a play to seal a win after a 16-point first quarter.

Daveon Alford took the opening kickoff on the right side, slanted across the middle to the left side and got some quality downfield blocking for a 96-yard score.

Perry forced a quick punt, stalled and settled for a 42-yard Daniel Ward field goal. On Alcovy's second play, defensive lineman Austin Rogers picked off a short pass and took it in 35 for the touchdown.

The kick failed, but the Panthers led 16-0 with 1:47 left in the first quarter.

Alcovy could do nothing against Perry's defense, managing all of 8 yards in the first quarter.

The Tigers held on fourth-and-1, then got on the board
with a 35-yard pass from Williams to Nanpon Ross, surviving three penalties to pull within 16-7 with 5:35 remaining in the half.

Perry seemed to have grabbed the momentum again with a nice drive, sparked by Malik Doyle's 27-yard run. On third and 10, Deonte Solomon fielded a low snap, escaped serious pressure and heaved down the middle to a wide open Nick Martens, who found the ball and finished off the 63-yard score with 44.8 seconds left, Ward's kick making it a 23-7 game.

Alcovy will return home to Sharp Stadium Friday to take on intra-county rivals Eastside.