Through the first six games of Alcovy's season, it's been all about defense.
At 5-1, the fourth-year school has already equaled its record win total from 2008, and it's winning with a stifling defense that has allowed 46 total points (7.6 per game), including two shutouts and holding two other opponents to less than 10 points.
The Tigers can make it a single-season school record six wins with a triumph today against Ola.
"Defensively, I've been real pleased," said Alcovy coach Kirk Hoffman. "We've gotten a little better every week and the running game has picked up, which has helped us defensively."
That run game features a trio of talented backs. Senior Rod Tolen, who Hoffman thinks is one of the more knowledgeable players on the team, along with Tre Sorrells and Devon Edwards give the Tigers a stable of threats out of the backfield.
"(Tolen's) biggest thing is he understands the game so well; he brings a great knowledge to the game and great athletic ability," Hoffman said. "(Sorrells) runs the ball inside pretty well for us and has that ability to find that open seam. (Edwards) has done a great job on the corner, trying to get speed on the corner. We've played pretty good disciplined football and we run the ball pretty well. We try to get them as many touches as we can."
Hoffman also isn't fooled by the visiting Mustangs' 3-4 record. The up-and-down start includes losses to PrepCountry.com Class AAAA No. 1 Griffin and No. 10 North Clayton, which handed Alcovy its only loss over a month ago.
"If you go back and look, they've driven the ball on every team they've played," Hoffman said. "Offensively, they are very well coached. They run the wing-T the way its supposed to be run. We've got our hands full defensively."
Alcovy isn't looking past the Mustangs, though 5-2 Mount Zion-Jonesboro is next on the schedule. With a three-year history that saw the program win just seven of 23 games before this season, it's hard to look past anyone.
"We don't need to be looking ahead even though we've probably had our best start since the school has opened," Hoffman said. "We need to get ready to play (tonight) and play a good Ola team."
Kurt Aschermann Jr. can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
SideBar: If you go
· Who: Ola Mustangs (3-4, 2-3 in Region 4-AAAA) at Alcovy Tigers (5-1, 3-1)
· Where: Sharp Stadium, Covington
· When: 7 p.m. today
· Last week: Alcovy was idle; Ola lost to Dutchtown 33-28
· Series: Alcovy leads 1-0
· Last year: Alcovy won 41-0