COVINGTON -- Alcovy's football team stayed step for step with Tri-Cities for the first 20 minutes of the game before turnovers and experience gave the Bulldogs the edge to beat the Tigers 51-28 in the first round of the Class AAAA playoffs on Friday at Homer Sharp Stadium.
The Tigers (6-5) struck first when Kenard Murray weaved his way through the Tri-Cities special teams squad for a 68-yard punt return. Alcovy's lead lasted for 50 seconds before Tri-Cities' (9-2) Oscar Ross tied the game on a 4-yard run with 4:41 left in the first period.
Alcovy gained the upper hand again midway through the second frame on an 81-yard pass from Cornell White to Devon Edwards. Unfortunately for the Tigers, they were unable to overcome five fumbles, losing three, and two interceptions as the Bulldogs easily outscored Alcovy in the final 26 minutes of the game.
"How do you get on kids who are trying to get extra yards and turn it over?" asked Alcovy head coach Kirk Hoffman. "We got into a shoot out and when you do that your defense has to be ready to play. They lined up and came right at us with those big kids. I'm proud of our kids. We were picked to be fourth in the subregion and here we are in the state playoffs."
Following a Tri-Cities' interception by Anthony Mathis, the Bulldogs took the lead on an Xavier Roberson reception before an 8-yard touchdown on a fumble recovery by Jeremiah Walker put the Bulldogs in the lead 21-14 to end the first half.
After Tre Sorrells tied the game with a 14-ayrd run to started the second half, Tri-Cities scored four straight touchdowns.
Devon Edwards broke the streak with an 91-yard kickoff return but it was too little too late.
Alcovy's defense gave up 371 yards of total offense while the Tigers could only muster 169 yards of total offense. Edwards paced the Tigers on offense with 144 of offense while Sorrells had a mere 43 yards rushing on 10 carries.
Roberson and Ross paced the game with 81 and 75 yards rushing on 10 and nine carries.
"I thought we made good adjustments but you're talking about a senior loaded team. They outplayed us, you have to give them credit, they outplayed us," Hoffman said. "We didn't capitalize. There are a couple of ways we shot ourselves in the foot. We just fell short."
Tri-Cities will head to Marietta to play Pope on Friday. Pope won their game over Mays with a 52-35 victory.