As the 2012 football season nears the end, there are a few teams fortunate enough to jockey for position and there are others just a win away from breathing more life into their season.
For the Alcovy football team, its in a position to do both.
Alcovy currently sits in third place in Region 2-AAAAAA with a 2-2 record in league play and 3-5 overall. With four teams from each region making the playoffs, the Tigers can lock in one of those coveted spot with just one win over the final two weeks.
The first matchup in front of Alcovy is tonight at 7:30 p.m. at Sharp Stadium against Rockdale, which happens to be the team currently in fourth place, also with a 2-2 region record.
Behind the Tigers and Bulldogs is Druid Hills and Luella with three losses (prior to Thursday night's matchup with Newton, ending after press time).
A win in each of Druid Hills' final two games and a winless finish to the season would move the Red Devils ahead of Alcovy.
While a win puts the Tigers in, they are also in a fight with Rockdale for the third and fourth seed. A third seed would mean avoiding a No. 1 seed in the playoffs.
"We're going to have to play good football," Alcovy coach Kirk Hoffman said. "If we play well and play up to our ability, we have a chance to win. We're going to have to take care of the football and make sure we make tackles on defense."
Tackling was a problem area for Alcovy last week when it fell to Druid Hills 28-21.
Hoffman said his players have stepped up and had a good week of practice, getting back to the defense that helped the Tigers pick up wins over Morrow, Luella and Eastside.
A big part of the improvement in practices has been the ability of Alcovy's younger players to step into larger roles that have been left vacant due to injuries.
"They have stepped up this week and gotten better," Hoffman said. "For the most part this year, we have been playing some pretty good defense. We have lost some starters due to injuries and some of the younger players have had to step up."
Hoffman hopes the younger Tigers can continue to mature against a Rockdale team that has done some maturing of its own.
The Bulldogs began the season with four straight losses, 13 straight dating back to last season, before two wins sandwiched a losing effort against Lovejoy.
"They've gotten better every week," Hoffman said. "They have some play makers and some kids who make some big time plays. Because of that, we're definitely going to have to be disciplined."
The Bulldogs have pulled off their two region wins thanks, in part to the receiving efforts of two big targets and the improving play of freshman quarterback Zuri Minifield.
"They have two outstanding receivers and we're going to have to do some things to contain them from getting big plays on us," Hoffman said.
While the Tigers' defense is trying to shut down the Rockdale passing attack, on offense Alcovy will look to keep the Bulldogs' defensive line out of the backfield.
"Offensively, the key for us is stay on some blocks to give our backs the chance to get to the line of scrimmage and make some things happen," Hoffman said.
If all that stays true then Alcovy can pull off its second straight win in the series, with the last coming on Sept. 28, 2007, 20-6.