Tigers defense stops Luella in overtime for 24-21 win

COVINGTON -- Alcovy's Alyx Wilson had the biggest interception of the season so far ending Luella's scoring threat in overtime giving the Tigers a 24-21 win on Friday at Homer Sharp Stadium.

After hitting the right upright on his 45-yard field goal attempt in the final four minutes of regulation, Alcovy (2-3 overall, 1-0 Region 2-AAAAA) kicker Rysen Richardson kicked the game-winning field goal in overtime to give the Tigers the lead.

"That's the life of a kicker," Alcovy head coach Kirk Hoffman said. "Three inches the other way and it goes in. He's done an outstanding job for us."

But it was Alcovy's defense that really stepped up the challenge. After giving up 177 rushing yards and 67 passing yards in the second half, the Tigers stopped Luella's (0-5, 0-1) scoring attempt when Robert Bullard tipped Lions quarterback Jared Hendricks' pass allowing Wilson to get the interception.

"I told them that the game doesn't change in overtime. We had to go back to playing disciplined and read our leads, we did that," Hoffman said. "We got pressure on (Hendricks) and that ball got tipped. For these kids, the ball hasn't bounced their way in a couple of games. (Friday night) it did and I'm happy for them."

It appeared as if the Lions were going to have their way with Alcovy as they took their third possession 71 yards in six plays, with the help of a 15-yard penalty, for the go ahead score off a Trae Bonner 17-yard run.

The Tigers had a hard time moving the ball until Clayton Anderson began taking snaps to start the second quarter. After gaining eight yards and failing to get a first down in the first period, Anderson guided the Tigers to three touchdown while leading the offense to gain 152 yards.

Anderson threw a 17-yard touchdown to Jaylin Penny two minutes in the second period before throwing an 11-yard pass to Jordan Hexom three minutes later to put Alcovy up 14-7. Anderson ran the ball the final yard with two minutes left in the half to give the Tigers a 14-point, 21-7, lead.

"Marcus (Williams) needed a break and it comes back to what I've said how you're only one snap from away from getting chance. Clayton played real well," Hoffman said. "He made some mistakes and he knows it but he's been doing the right things at practice. He knows the offense and I thought he had an outstanding game."

Alcovy's Tristen Payne in scoring position was a 41-yard run after breaking a tackle to put the ball inside the 5-yard line. Payne ran the ball with 84 yards on 15 carries.

After taking over the quarterbacking responsibilities, Anderson was 8-for-13 for 104 yards including two touchdown passes. He also ran the ball for 37 yards on 21 touches and one touchdown. His favorite receiver was Jaylin Penny who had four catches for 82 yards.

Both teams came out a little nervous to start the second half as Hendricks threw two interceptions while Anderson threw one.

Luella took advantage of Alcovy's defense as Bonner weaved his way through the defense for a 58-yard touchdown run with 5:40 left in the third. Luella's offense again found a weakness in the Tigers defense allowing a wide open Chris Colvard to catch a 61-yard scoring pass from Hendricks to tie the game at 21.

"We had a blown coverage on the long pass then we missed two tackles on the long run. Our kids have hung in there," Hoffman said. "Defensively, we played well at times. It's like I told them, we play good then we have a lapse. We have to be consistent and that's going to happen."