COVINGTON — Even though Alcovy is a perfect 3-0 in Region 3A-AAAA, this could be the Tigers' biggest test to date as they take their game on the road for the first time against Jones County.
Not only is it the first region road game for the Tigers, its winner will have an advantage in subregion play as both teams are undefeated in subregion play.
"The winner of this is going to be in the driver's seat in the subregion. I'm expecting a huge crowd," Alcovy head coach Kirk Hoffman said. "It's huge because one of us is going to come out leading the subregion."
Both teams are close in points scored and points allowed in the six games they've played. Jones County (3-3, 3-0) has scored 139 points while giving up 135. Alcovy (4-2, 3-0), on the other hand, has scored 133, giving up 140 points.
Most of the points scored against Alcovy came in its first three games, with Eastside, Harris County and Starr's Mill accounting for 104 of those points.
But Alcovy's defense has stepped up since starting subregion play, allowing only 36 points against some bigger teams such as Union Grove and Griffin.
The Tigers are again going to be the undersized team on the field as Jones County's linemen average between 250 and 260 pounds. Having big linemen is good for the Greyhounds, who try to run over their opponents playing out of the Wing-T.
"They're going to run," Hoffman said. "They average about three passes a game. They're going to run right at you."
But facing teams that try to overpower the Tigers is nothing new as Union Grove and Griffin tried the same thing without the desired results. While some plays have been able to get past Alcovy's defense for good yardage, for the most part the other team has been forced to try something else.
"We're kind of small up front. Teams have tried to run right at us at times and that's given us problems. We've had to make adjustments and we've made good adjustments in the past," Hoffman said.
Offensively, the Tigers need to be able to use a combination of run and pass plays to keep Jones County off balance. Jones County will try to disguise their look by using multiple three- and four-man fronts.
While playing well on offense, defense and special teams is going to be important, not turning over the ball is what is going to be crucial if Alcovy is to go 4-0 in subregion play for first time since 2009, the first and only year they've made it to postseason play.
"We can't turn the ball over," Hoffman said. "They're going to try to control the clock so we're only going to get so many opportunities. If we turn the ball over, it's a wasted opportunity."