HAMPTON - The debate continues.
Does a bye week benefit or hurt a football team on a winning streak?
Unbeaten Dutchtown (4-0) came off its bye week last week to face important Region 4-AAAA rival Alcovy on Friday night at home. A win would enable the host Bulldogs to secure at least a .500 season and would go a long way to securing a playoff berth.
Meanwhile, the Tigers were looking to stop the Bulldog streak and also gain important footing in the region playoff chase.
Behind the 170-yard performance of running back Trey Sorrells, as well as poor tackling and special teams miscues from the host Bulldogs, the Tigers (4-1) left Dutchtown with a last-minute 19-18 victory.
Halfway through the final quarter and sporting an 18-12 lead, the Bulldogs worked on taking time off the clock. Living by its potent running game, Dutchtown gained two first downs on eight plays before surrendering the ball with just over three minutes remaining.
However, a poor snap from center, one of two key missnaps in the second half by the Bulldogs, enabled Alcovy to block the punt and gain possession at its own 42-yard line.
On the second play from scrimmage, Sorrells, who missed last week's victory over Jonesboro due to injury, took the handoff and broke through four would-be tacklers on his way to a 45-yard run to the Dutchtown 15 with 2:12 remaining in the game.
Two more short running plays and a key pass interference penalty on Dutchtown gave Alcovy a first down at the Dutchtown 7 with just 59 seconds remaining in the game. Sorrells then capped the drive with runs of 5 and 2 yards, the latter with just 26 seconds remaining to tie the score. Kyle Vojtesak's extra point gave Alcovy its lead.
Earlier in the fourth quarter, Dutchtown had taken an 18-12 lead on a 3-yard touchdown run by Kelvin Tanner on the first play after Bulldog defensive star Demitri Curry blocked and recovered an Alcovy punt.
Dutchtown gained momentum early in the game, building a 10-0 lead in the first quarter. The Bulldogs capped a 70-yard scoring drive with a 5-yard run by Mychael Brown. A 28-yard pass play from Trey Nelson to Kellan Holiday set up the Bulldogs in great scoring position.
Alcovy fumbled on its next possession and Ryan Key booted a 27-yard field goal to give the Bulldogs the comfortable lead.
The Bulldogs continued to threaten. On their next possession after a good punt return to the Alcovy 43, the Bulldogs used a 14-yard run by Kelvin Leaphart and a penalty to move to the Tiger 14. But Alcovy recovered a fumble on a poor pitchout to stop the drive.
Dutchtown gained nearly 100 yards of offense in the first quarter alone. But suddenly, things went silent. The Bulldogs added another 49 yards in the second quarter and only 6 total yards in the entire second half.
Too much pressure would be put on the Dutchtown defense, which entered the second quarter on a nine-quarter scoreless streak.
A Dutchtown fumble gave Alcovy great field position at the Bulldog 21. Sorrells gained 20 yards on three runs before quarterback David Ward snapped the streak with a 1-yard run. Vojtesak's extra point cut the margin to 10-7 at halftime.
Alcovy would threaten again late in the second quarter but Darian Small had a sack of Ward and then recovered a fumble on consecutive plays for the Dutchtown defense.
Alcovy would take the lead in the third quarter. Early in the quarter, a bad snap from center on a punt attempt by Dutchtown went out of the end zone for a safety, cutting the Bulldog lead to 10-9.
Later, after only a 24-yard punt by Kay, the Tigers gained the lead on a 21-yard field goal by Vojtesak, capping a seven-play drive. Rodrick Tolen raced 20 yards and Sorrells added another 13 on consecutive plays to put the Tigers deep in Dutchtown territory.