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Alcovy prepares for 'Battle of the Tigers'

COVINGTON - The Alcovy football team is going to have to do something that has given it trouble in the past three games if it hopes to turn things around in Region 4-AAAA on Friday night at Stockbridge.

For Alcovy, that means moving the ball consistently on offense.

While it's easier said than done, it could be even harder against a team whose head coach - Don Vandygriff - guided Dublin's defense last season. Last year, Dublin made it to the Georgia Dome in Class AA.

But before Alcovy (1-2 overall, 0-1 in 4-AAAA) gets ready for the "Battle of the Tigers," it will first have to figure out who will be under center.

"PJ (Thompkins) is still banged up, so we're having to get other kids some more reps," Alcovy coach Kirk Hoffmann said. "Right now, it's still questionable if he's going to be able to go. If he's not, I think (Rod) Tolen is ready. We hope so."

Even though Vandygriff is defensive-minded, Stockbridge (1-2, 0-1) has surrendered 48 points in its last two games.

Alcovy needs to cut down on turnovers on offense after giving it away four times in Saturday's 21-14 loss to North Clayton. Alcovy lost the ball once on three fumbles and threw four interceptions.

"The thing that we have to concern ourselves with is taking care of the football, play a good sound defense and we've got to get our motor running on offense," Hoffmann said.

One way for Alcovy to improve is for the front line to hold its blocks longer and give the backfield time to develop the play.

Two of the players Alcovy's offense will have to keep an eye on are Stockbridge's top tacklers - linebackers Tim Lawrence and Thad Rachel.

"Defensively, I'm real impressed with the way they run after the football, so we're going to have to stay on blocks a little bit longer," Hoffmann said.

Although Stockbridge prefers to make things happen with top running back Dominique Smith, Alcovy's defense also has to watch out for the pass.

A key component of Stockbridge's passing attack is 6-foot-3 senior quarterback Benn Carr and 6-foot-5 senior wide receiver Kevin Burke.

"Kevin Burke, the receiver, is a good player, and the quarterback scares me. He's a good athlete," Hoffmann said. "Stockbridge is kind of deceptive. They like to run the football - what team doesn't? We're going to have to stop the running game first, but we can't fall asleep on the pass. They have the ability to hit you with the big play. We're seeing some speed, that's for sure."

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

SideBar: Alcovy at Stockbridge

· When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.

· Where: Stockbridge Stadium

· Series: First meeting