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GAME DAY: Alcovy vs. Eastside preview and predictions

The Matchup: Alcovy Tigers (1-1) (Region 3-AAAAAA) at Eastside Eagles (1-1) (Region 4-AAAA). The Tigers are coming off a 32-13 defeat at the hands of Meadowcreek, whose offensive line proved to be too much for Alcovy to handle. On the other side of Highway 36 lies the Eagles, who were soundly defeated by the dominant Newton Rams 41-0. The series between these two heated in-county rivals dates back to 2006. In the 11 games played, the Eagles have built an 8-3 series lead, including a current three-game win streak.

The Venue: Homer Sharp Stadium, 3135 Newton Dr., Covington, GA 30014. Kickoff, Friday at 7:30 p.m.

The Playmakers at Alcovy: The Tigers have built a recent reputation of having talented skill position players across the board. Quarterback Cameron Anderson is proving himself a solid signal caller in his junior season. Although he did not have his best game against Meadowcreek, he did manage to set a school record in the season opener against Duluth with four touchdowns. His ability to move out of the pocket and extend plays could be what the Tigers need to get the offense moving against a powerful Eagles defensive line. Another way they can do that is to utilize their 1-2 punch at running back with Andrae and Adrian Robinson. Both provide their own unique style of running and the changes in pace could keep the Eagles off balance on defense. For the Tigers’ defense, expect some big plays from Demetrius Tuggle who will look to shut down the Eagles passing game, and make them a one-dimensional offense. He also looked solid in the return game last week.

The Playmakers at Eastside: On offense, Eastside and Alcovy actually look pretty similar. With Week One starting quarterback Noah Cook out with an injury, Brayden Harper will likely assume his role at the controls of the offense again. Although this move will take away from the wide receiver depth, Harper still has a ton of talent surrounding him and can find many playmakers tonight through the air, including emerging stud Jamari Brown. They will also rely on their own 1-2 punch of Taylor Carter and Tyon Davis getting it done in the backfield along with the versatile Jordan Rogers. Like the Robinson twins at Alcovy, Carter and Davis each bring their own set of attributes to the run game. On defense, tackle Lamarius Benson, a South Carolina commit, and defensive end Tanner Feeney could be poised to have a big game if they can take advantage of a Tigers’ offensive line that is still trying to gain their footing.

The Prediction: Although Eastside and Newton have shared the more competitive series in the county — Eastside has won the last three matchups and holds an 8-3 advantage in the all-time series — there is a vibe in the Eastside vs. Alcovy rivalry that is unmatched. It causes friends from both schools to turn into enemies for the week. This is usually followed by a lot of trash talk on social media. This game has a more intriguing storyline than recent games. Both teams are coming off losses and while Alcovy is still looking to reestablish a winning reputation, Eastside is still trying to get its young team to gel well together. This is a tougher game to call. This is the best chance in the last few years that Alcovy has to win the game. They have the tools in the skill positions to win, but it’ll be the trenches that will decide the game for the Tigers, and it is hard to say if they’re ready for a tough Eagles front seven and stout offensive line. Tyler’s Score: Eastside 28, Alcovy 17.