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Alcovy in a race to maturity against Griffin

COVINGTON -- When Griffin travels to Homer Sharp Stadium to play Alcovy in a Region 3A-AAAA game on Friday it's going to be a battle of who grows up first.

After losing more than 20 players last season, Griffin (3-1, 0-1) has a lot of immaturity and young players on their team. Unfortunately, the Tigers (2-2, 1-0) probably won't be able to take advantage of it as they too have a lot of underclassmen on the field.

But even with a team full of young players, the Bears still have a top-notch defense that Alcovy will have to try to get past.

"After last week they were leading the region in defense. Griffin has hung their hat on defense and they still do so," Alcovy head coach Kirk Hoffman said. "Offensively it's going to be huge for us to win the battle on the offensive line. One of the big things I'm looking for is to keep getting better on the offensive line. I didn't think we played too well last week on the offensive line so hopefully we'll see some improvement there."

For The Tigers to go 2-0 in region play, a feat they have never been able to accomplish, they are going to have to keep throwing the ball the way they have in the past three games. By doing so that will give Devon Edwards and Tre Sorrells, if he's back from a high-ankle injury, the chance to get the running game going.

"If we can get the running game going we can spread the field a little more and that will help us across the board," Hoffman said. "The last three games we've thrown the ball well. That's a credit to Kenard Murray and Elijah Jones and (quarterback) Cornell White. Now, if we can get a running game to go along with it we're making people defend the whole field."

The Bears have not changed who they are offensively either as they still like to take the ball between the tackles, letting their running backs cut and weave, causing the defense to miss.

"They still have speed and if somebody blows a gap assignment they have kids that can go the distance on you. For me that's exciting because we're young and we're starting to play with a little bit more control. The games where we hurt ourselves defensively are the games where we haven't maintained the gap control," Hoffman said.

"Traditionally, what Griffin does is block punts and return kicks. Griffin is still Griffin. We've worked hard on special teams and are trying to get better. The mistakes that we've made there have been young mistakes."