COVINGTON -- Is bigger really better? That's the question that Alcovy's football team looks to answer as it goes up against Union Grove to start 3A-AAAA play tonight at 7 p.m. at Homer Sharp Stadium.
"They have some good size and play hard nose. They just want to pound the ball at you. We have concerns because we're not real big up front, as people know," Alcovy head coach Kirk Hoffman said.
Of course, the Tigers (1-2) played teams that were bigger than they were in their first three games. Even though they lost two of the three, they were not dominated. The difference between having another mark or two in the win column came down to who won the turnover battle. In Alcovy's 47-31 win over Starr's Mill last week, the Tigers only had one turnover while Starr's Mill fumbled the ball five times, losing it twice and were intercepted once.
"Turnovers are going to kill anybody, especially when you play good teams," Hoffman said. "This is that five-game stretch in the beginning of the season where we're playing pretty good teams so we're going to have to take care of the football."
For Alcovy to bring their record to an even 2-2 for the season and, more importantly, win the first subregion game against the Wolverines (1-2), they are not only going to have to avoid turnovers, they are also going to have to click on offense the way they did last week when quarterback Cornell White threw for 240 yards going 11-for-14.
"People say you make your most improvements between your first and second game. This (Starr's Mill) was Cornell's second game. I thought he made some great improvements and had some great reads. I give him a little bit of credit; I thought he grew up a little bit," Hoffman said. "I thought some of my receivers grew up too. Elijah Jones did a great job and so did Kenard Murray."
Even though the skill people know what they have to do, it's all going to come down to whether the offensive line can give White time to find his receivers and open holes for running backs Tre Sorrells and Devon Edwards.
Because of Union Grove's size advantage the Tigers are not going to be able to go head-to-head. Instead, Alcovy is going have to move the pocket around in order to use their speed to give them the upper hand.
"We have to find a way to control the line of scrimmage. I think the first couple of games against those big teams helped us a little bit. If you look at Eastside and Harris County, at the size they have up front, I thought helped us against Starr's Mill and we'll see what it does against Union Grove," Hoffman said. "We're going to have to move around a little bit and create motion. We have to get our wheels moving before the snap."
Defense is another issue where size could hurt the Tigers. Even though Union Grove has only scored 44 points in three games, compared to Alcovy's 84, the Tigers defense has given up more than 100 points during the same three-game stretch.
"We're going to have to play very disciplined (on defense) and not give up gaps," Hoffman said.