Alcovy’s defense is key to win against Jones County

COVINGTON — A lot of pressure is going to be on Alcovy’s defense if the Tigers are to start their season with a win against a well coached Jones County team at 7:30 p.m. on Friday.

“The defense is going to carry us, I don’t think there’s any doubt about that,” Alcovy head coach Kirk Hoffmann said. “We’re going to have to grow up a little in key spots. Most of the experience we have is on that side of the ball.”

A few of the defensive players that have to step up and lead by example include defensive end Curtiss Benton, linebacker Okon Godwin, defensive back Robert Bullard.

“Those people have been to the playoffs for two years in a row,” Hoffmann said. “They understand what it takes and they’re going to have to lead by example. They’re going to have to get some of the younger kids on defense in the right position to get them to play the way we’re used to playing.”

The Tigers are returning Tristen Payne at quarterback. Payne is going to have to be ready to think quick on his feet against a well-coached and disciplined Greyhound defense. While the running game will have to be established, Payne is going to have find the receiver and throw the ball good passes.

“We’re going to have to throw. I don’t think, especially in this region, that we can line up against Lovejoy and people like that and say here we come. We’re going to have to balance out as well as we can,” Hoffmann said. “If you’re offense can control the ball a little bit it can really help out the defense.”

A couple of the receivers ready to move the Tigers down field include Jaylin Penny and backup quarterback D’Anthony Bell.

“You’ll see him on defense as well. He’s too good of an athlete not to be on the field,” Hoffmann said of Bell. “The thing is that coming off that major knee surgery in January, he’s come a long way. You’ll see him out there (defense) and you’ll see him at slot, you’ll see him some at wideout. He’s that kind of an athlete. He’s done a great job at learning it all

Another factor that the Tigers will have to battle includes the crowd. Jones County just added a new student sectoin as well as a new scoreboard.

“We went to a scrimmage there and the place was packed. I don’t think the noise level is going to cause us to make mistakes. At least I hope not,” Hoffmann said. “It’s like I was telling our kids, what a great place to play. They have a new student section that was full, they have a new scoreboard. So they’ve done a lot of things to dress up that facility.”

The one thing that will be a factor will be battling coach Dwight Jones’ 30 years of experience to get his team ready.

“I think it’ll be a great opening game for us,” Hoffmann said. “They’re well coached and are going to be disciplined and they’re going to do the things they’re suppose to do. That’s why we tell our kids, we’re going to have to find out how disciplined we are. That’s going to be huge for us.”