Alcovy gets final tune-up before starting subregion play

COVINGTON -- Win or not, Alcovy's final region crossover game is all about getting ready for Region 3A-AAAA next week. But tonight at 7:30 they have to face last year's Class AAAA runner-up, Starr's Mill, at Homer Sharp Stadium.

"You're talking about one of the top 10 to 15 programs in the state," Alcovy head coach Kirk Hoffman said. "It's another week that we're going to be tested, the third week in a row."

While both teams average about the same on offense, 17 for Alcovy (0-2) and 16 for Starr's Mill (2-0), the difference between going winless and being undefeated rests with the defense. The Panthers are only allowing 14 points per game while Alcovy is giving up 36 points per game.

"We're really young defensively. We only have three seniors and we're playing a bunch of 10th graders. For us to get better defensively we have to get more consistent. We seem to make two or three good plays then we lose our focus and give up a big play," Hoffman said.

The Tigers' three seniors, all in the secondary, are Kenard Murray, Devon Edwards and Dashaun Outlaw.

Alcovy could have almost doubled their offensive output if not for turnovers. In their two games, the Tigers have scored 35 points, 20 against Harris County last week, but they could have put up as many as 63 points in the two games if not for turnovers.

Despite giving the ball to the other team, Hoffman likes what he's seen so far.

"We've gotten better. We've been able to put some points on the board, which I'm real happy with, but we have to do that without turning the ball over," Hoffman said. "When you're playing a good football team, you can't turn the football over."

There's no doubt that Hoffman would like to be 1-2 rather than 0-3, but the outcome of this game is not his main concern. All he wants to do is improve on both sides of the ball and stay healthy as they start subregion play.

"Last year I had nine starters out at this point. This year I have four. Hopefully, they'll be back next week," Hoffman said.

"This is a game that's not going to make or break our season by no means. I said going in that we have to get better every week. We have to get better the first three weeks so that when we get into subregion play that fourth week we're going to be that much farther along. That's what this game is. Are we going to get better than we were last week so that we're hitting on all cylinders when we start subregion play?"