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Tigers need win to keep hopes alive

COVINGTON - Even though Forest Park has scored only 94 points while allowing 239, Alcovy head coach Kirk Hoffmann is not letting his team take the Panthers lightly.

The two squads square off at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Homer Sharp Stadium.

"We tell the kids there's a word in the dictionary called upset and there's a reason that's in there," Hoffmann said. "If we don't play up to our ability, we could lose to anybody. But when we play up to our ability I feel we could play with anybody and beat just about anybody."

Alcovy (4-4 overall, 3-3 in Region 4-AAAA) still has playoff aspirations, but first it has to take care of business against Forest Park (2-6 overall, 1-5 in Region 4-AAAA).

"We told them just win the next one and let the playoff picture play itself out," Hoffmann said. "We've got to worry about ourselves and the kids have got to come ready to play."

Two of the main reasons that make Hoffmann so wary of the Panthers are their one-point loss to Mount Zion and their halftime lead over Jonesboro. Both teams are in front of Alcovy in the 4-AAAA playoff race.

Quarterback Reginald Lewis is the main offensive threat for Forest Park. In the Panthers' win against Stockbridge, Lewis threw the ball for 99 yards and two touchdowns.

When he's not hurting you in the air, he can make things happen with his running ability.

"He's a playmaker," Hoffmann said. "If he gets out on the corner or gets in scramble mode, he makes things happen. He is the threat for their running game. He's taken over some games getting out of the pocket making you miss,"

Fortunately for Alcovy's defense, there is no big secret to stopping Lewis or Forest Park. All the Tigers have to do is play assignment football.

"We'll have to be disciplined with our rushes, stay in our lanes," Hoffmann said. "We're going to keep a backer in there to spy him as much as we can, then bring pressure from other parts of the field."

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

SideBar: Forest Park at Alcovy

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday

Where: Homer Sharp Stadium

Series: First meeting