COVINGTON -- Alcovy's defense bent but never broke as the Tigers started Region 3A-AAAA play with a 20-17 overtime win over Union Grove on Thursday.
The Tigers (2-2, 1-0) gave up 155 yards on the ground with Union Grove's (2-2, 0-1) Derrick Craine gaining 136 of them.
But in the end, the Tigers did not let the Wolverines move the ball when it counted, like in overtime.
"I thought the kids battled. We didn't play well by any means but the kids battled."
"We're still young. We have one senior and we're playing a bunch of young kids in the second level. This was the first time in a couple of weeks that they adjusted the way we asked them too," Alcovy head coach Kirk Hoffman said. After Alcovy took the lead in overtime on a Rysen Richardson 29-yard field goal, the Tigers defense did something they had not done twice, push the Wolverines back.
Union Grove tried to tie the game with a 52-yard field goal by Kacy Stuart but the ball fell way short of it's intended target.
"I thought the kids battled. We didn't play well by any means but the kids battled," Hoffman said.
Alcovy had a hard time getting its running game established as the Wolverines held Alcovy to 23 yards on the ground on 35 carries.
Cornell White was Alcovy's leading rusher with 15 yards on 23 carries followed by Devon Edwards who had seven yards on 11 touches.
"They had a good game plan. They wrapped up Devon and Cornell. We need to get Tre Sorrells back now that we have that inside game that we're missing," Hoffman said.
In the second quarter, it looked like Alcovy was going to give Union Grove the ball back in excellent field position after losing 24 yards in two plays. But Edwards was able to break a tackle following a White pass taking the ball 71 to the Wolverines 10 yard line. It took the Tigers two plays before White found the end zone on an 8-yard run with 8:20 left in the first half.
It didn't take long for Union Grove to tie the game. All it took was two runs as Derrick Craine ran the ball 42 yards before DJ White scored on a 30-yard run.
However, the Tigers did not stay down long as Edwards put Alcovy in scoring position with a 66-yard kickoff return. On third and eight from the 25-yard line, Cornell White was able to find Elijah Jones in the corner of the end zone for the score with 4:53.
Special teams played a big part in helping the Wolverines tie the game. With a Union Grove player hanging on to punter Eberado Barajas' jersey following a low snap, Barajas was able to get the punt off right into the hands Brandon Mathews who returned it 36 yards for the touchdown.
"Two bad special team mistakes killed us," Hoffman said. "Those are things we have to come back and correct. We're going to get there."
Union Grove broke the tie and took the lead for the first time in the game with a 30-yard Kacy Stuart field goal seven minutes into the third period.
But Alcovy was able to come back and tie the game with 5:29 left in regulation on a Richardson field goal of 25 yards after the Tigers picked up a DJ White fumble on a punt.