IF YOU GO
• Who: Jones County Greyhounds (0-0) at Alcovy Tigers (0-0)
• When: Thursday, Aug. 30, at 7:30 p.m.
• Where: Homer Sharp Stadium
• Series: Tied at 1-1
• Last meeting: Oct. 7, 2011; Alcovy won 44-28
COVINGTON -- Stopping the run is going to be the key to giving Alcovy their season-opening win as they face Jones County at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Homer Sharp Stadium.
The Greyhounds (0-0) biggest threat with their running game is by senior running back Undre Williams who last year rushed for 1,155 yards and 13 touchdowns in nine games.
"They have that real good running back and coach (Dwight) Jones is a run-first type of guy so we're going to have to stop the run," Alcovy head football coach Kirk Hoffman said. "They have an outstanding offensive line, we're going to have a way to stop the Williams kid from making big plays. Hopefully, our defense can slow them down a little bit."
While stopping Williams of the Greyhounds is important, how the Tigers do it is even more important. Hoffman is going to have to hope that the five sophomores he started last season have matured into five experienced juniors. A big part of how well the defense plays will depend on that maturity and the play of senior Marcus Williams.
"One of the things I'm going to be looking for, defensively, is how disciplined we are," Hoffman said. "Are we doing the stuff that we're suppose to do in certain plays? Our biggest thing defensively is seeing how far we've come with that group of kids after playing five sophomores last year."
The return of senior quarterback Cornell White should give the Tigers (0-0) some consistency. Despite having an experienced offensive line, the lack of experienced running backs to keep White company in the backfield could give the Tigers some problems.
"Cornell is going to run more this year," Hoffman said. "Robert Bullard is going to be out there seeing a lot of time. He can do some things for us. Offensively, I'd like to see us get into a rhythm."
While getting a win would be a good way to start the season, it's not the ultimate goal for Hoffman. He plans on using the next four games to add more layers to the offense and solidify the defense to get ready for what really matters, Region 2-AAAAAA play.
"There's still so much we don't have in yet," Hoffman said. "We're still in the process of trying to get better and ultimately playing good football by the time region play gets here."