COVINGTON, Ga. - In a weather-shortened game that was called with 7:16 left to play, the Alcovy Tigers (1-3) prevailed in a dominant performance from start to finish over the Salem Seminoles (0-3) in a commanding 41-2 victory.
This is head coach Jason Dukes’ first win as the Tigers head coach and he could not be happier to have earned this win on senior night with many of his seniors contributing.
"I'm so proud of our players right now," Dukes said. "We saw some improvement tonight. Are we all the way there? No, but we did see some improvement tonight and I can't express how happy I am for our players."
The Tigers had this game won from the very start as the defense played a hard-nosed style that made it difficult to get anything going on the ground or through the air.
The Tigers found a way to earn points without even putting their offense on the field. With just over two minutes off of the clock and on the Seminoles third pass attempt of the game, Alcovy senior defensive back Jaquez Snell picked the ball off and ran it back for the Tigers first points of the game.
Snell's interception was a huge boost to start the game for the Tigers, and they seemed to ride that momentum until the final whistle. Coach Dukes knew the importance of a play like that and knew it was six points for his team as soon as it was picked.
"Hats off to Jaquez Snell who really rebounded and gave us spark with a pick-six. That really set the tone for us," Dukes said. "As soon as he caught the ball, both of my hands went up because I knew it was a touchdown and he did what he does, and it was a great play for us."
The Tigers defense played so well in the first half that the Seminoles unofficial total offensive yards added up to just nine yards. This stout defensive performance is just what coach Dukes was looking for from his defensive group, and he is overall very pleased with their performance.
"This performance tonight shows what they are capable of," Duke said. "They are capable of controlling the line of scrimmage, dominating at the point of attack and playing lights out, 11 hats to the ball defense."
With a 7-0 lead, the Tigers offense took over and sophomore quarterback M.J. Stroud ran the ball for 35 yards on the Tigers offense first play from scrimmage.
The Tigers found a ton of success running the football and had a wide variety of backs contributing for them with no player having multiple scores. Junior J.J. Strong-Williams led the running backs with 70 rushing yards and a touchdown on ten carries.
Senior Andrae Robinson followed him finishing with 54 yards rushing and a touchdown. Sophomore Tray Perry had two carries for 18 yards and a touchdown, and finally, senior Natorien Holloway had five carries for one yard and a touchdown.
However, the leading rusher for the Tigers was sophomore quarterback M.J. Stroud as he finished with 74 yards rushing and had one touchdown on seven carries.
Stroud seemed much more comfortable in the pocket and made a couple of tough throws. However, with the rushing attack firing on all cylinders, the Tigers continued to let their stable of backs make plays until the final whistle.
This was a huge statement win for the Alcovy Tigers who will be on the bye week for the next two weeks and preparing vigorously before facing the Colquitt County Packers on the road on Friday, Oct. 4.