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Tigers' season ends with loss to Griffin

COVINGTON - Griffin's Sheldon Hancock was too much for Alcovy to handle, gaining 187 yards and scoring four touchdowns as the Bears eliminated the Tigers from the playoffs by a 35-16 margin Thursday at Homer Sharp Stadium.

"We slanted to (Hancock), we brought linebackers to him, we'd hit him, but he'd fall forward or he'd break a tackle," Alcovy coach Kirk Hoffmann said.

"I'm not disappointed in this (team). That's a pretty good football team right there."

However, the Tigers had their share of outstanding ball carriers as Malachi Outlaw finished his final game as a Tiger with 212 yards and one touchdown.

The Tigers finished their third season at .500 with an overall record of 5-5 and a Region 4-AAAA record of 4-4.

"We're going to get there," Hoffmann said. "This group of kids set the squad to go to another level."

Penalties were Alcovy's worst enemy. The Tigers had four flags thrown against them in the opening period.

"If you look at the penalties, they weren't good, but they were because of hustle," Hoffmann said.

In the first couple of possessions, it appeared that neither team wanted to win as a needless holding penalty negated an 89-yard touchdown return by Nick Wilson on the opening kickoff.

As a result, the Tigers were forced to settle for a 23-yard Kyle Vojtesak field goal three minutes into the game.

Griffin fumbled the ball the first time the offense had the ball. But the Tigers' special teams gave the offense a short field at the 30-yard line after blocking a punt.

The Bears had the chance to score earlier, but D.J. Morgan dropped the ball in the end zone without any Alcovy defenders near him.

Griffin eventually took a 7-3 lead on its second fourth-down play of the drive, an 8-yard pass from Marcus Waller to Hancock.

Devon Edwards in the position to give Alcovy a 9-7 lead with 6:41 left in the half on a 2-yard run.

Helping Edwards score was a 2-yard run by Outlaw on fourth down and an 18-yard jaunt, putting the ball inside the 5-yard line.

The Bears took a 15-9 lead into the locker room on a 10-yard Hancock run followed by a 2-point conversion on a Waller pass to Brandon Williamson with less than two minutes in the first half.

It looked like Griffin changed uniforms with players that wanted to play as they took the ball 67 yards on eight plays in the opening drive of the second half. It was capped by a 12-yard TD run by Morgan five minutes into the third quarter.

Alcovy answered Griffin's touchdown with a score of its own, a three-yard Outlaw dive with 5:18 remaining in the third to make it 22-16.

Hancock put the game out of reach with an 11-yard run with 8:17 left in the fourth period and a 51-yard rumble with 1:05 showing on the clock.

Manny Fils can be reached at manny.fils@newtoncitizen.com.