0

Alcovy opens region against North Clayton

COVINGTON - Now that the rivalry games with Newton and Eastside are in the rear-view mirror, Alcovy can focus on the business at hand - winning its first region game.

The Tigers (1-1) start Region 4-AAAA play tonight against one of the top teams in the region in North Clayton.

Last season, the Eagles (1-1) finished 4-2 in the subregion play, but, more importantly, they have a group of experienced players back on their squad.

"They are very athletic and have 18 starters returning from last year," Alcovy coach Kirk Hoffmann said. "Some pick them or Griffin to win the region."

The Tigers struggled offensively in their first two games against county rivals Newton and Eastside. Alcovy combined for nine points in both games.

If Alcovy is to outscore North Clayton, the Tigers' offensive front of Ellis Brown, Roy Parham, Davey Jones, Mardrecus Dowdell, Maurice Valentine and Julian Gardner will have to keep the Eagles at bay long enough to allow the plays to develop.

"We have to stay on blocks longer and get better every down. Offensively, we must play with consistency," Hoffmann said.

Defensively, Alcovy must slow down North Clayton. It's the same the Tigers had do against both of their first two opponents.

"We must contain the speed of North Clayton. We can not allow big plays," Hoffmann said. "We need to play disciplined football on defense, no busted plays."

Despite starting region play against a region contender, Hoffmann said his team is not nervous and they know what has to be done.

"There is not a sense of urgency," he said. "We have a 1-1 record. North Clayton is just the next game on our schedule and the start of region play."

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

SideBar:

North Clayton at Alcovy

· When: Today, 7:30 p.m.

· Where: Homer Sharp Stadium

· Series: First meeting