Playoff trip on the line for Alcovy

COVINGTON - A reason to win is a big motivation for getting a team ready to play.

Alcovy's motivation against Forest Park is simple: A trip to the Class AAAA playoffs.

"There's still a bunch of scenarios out there but if we win we're in for sure," Alcovy coach Kirk Hoffmann said.

Even though Forest Park (1-7 overall, 0-6 Region 4-AAAA) has only scored 26 points, while allowing 287, in their eight games, Hoffman is not going to let his Tigers (6-2, 4-2) overlook them.

"The problem is that they shoot themselves in the foot. I saw them last week at Dutchtown and they were inside the 10 three times and they didn't score," Hoffman said. "They've been in a game for a half. They just can't seem to put a game together. Two weeks ago against Jonesboro, they were winning at the half 7-6. Then they got beat like 21-7."

The Tigers know the importance of putting two good halves of football together. After playing a good half of football against Mt. Zion last week where they had a 10-6 lead, they let the Bulldogs push them around some in the second half and ended up losing 22-10.

"The thing that we have to realize is that we have to come ready to play every week. If you come out flat and you don't play well for a half, you let the other team sneak back in. Then you're only one or two fumbles away from being in trouble," Hoffmann said. "It's the same situation as last week. We played hard for a half and we were in there. Then we had two or three mistakes and the game just got away from us."

Making a trip the playoffs a reality for the Tigers is going to fall on the Alcovy defense. While Forest Park's offense has not put up a lot of points, Hoffman feels that coach Roderick Perrymond's team is dangerous with its ability to throw the ball.

"When you throw the ball it's like darts at a dartboard; eventually you're going to hit the bull's eye," Hoffmann said. "They have the ability to big play you because of what they do. Defensively, we have to continue doing what we're doing and that's play well in all phases and play disciplined football.

"Everyone has to do their role and that's by playing disciplined football by being at the right place at the right time and not give up the big plays."

Offensively, the Tigers offensive line has to give quarterback Rod Tolen time to throw and open some lanes for primary running back Tre Sorrells.

"We came in knowing we were young upfront and we also lost some to injuries. The thing is that we have to play through that and just keep working," Hoffmann said.

Despite the Panthers defense giving up an average of 36 points per game including three mercy rules - 65-0 by Mt. Zion, 50-0 by Griffin and 36-0 by Dutchtown - Hoffmann does not plan on ending the game with a running clock for a fourth time.

"I've always said this and if you watch us, I don't run the score up on people. That's not high school football. You do the right thing," Hoffmann said. "If we get a lead we'll get some new kids in."

SideBar: At a glance

· Who: Alcovy Tigers (6-2, 4-2) at Forest Park Panthers (1-7, 0-6)

· When: 7:30 p.m. Friday

· Where: Tara Stadium 1055 Battle Creek Road, Jonesboro

· Last week: Alcovy lost to Mount Zion 22-10; Forest Park lost to Dutchtown 36-0

· Series: Alcovy leads 1-0

· Last season: Alcovy won 38-21