COVINGTON —Alcovy’s defense came up big against Perry with a pair of interceptions and sacks as the Tigers won their home-opener 21-10 at Homer Sharp Stadium on Friday.
“We’re flying around the ball right now and we ought to with some of the kids that have been there as three-year starters,” Alcovy head coach Kirk Hoffman said.
The first big defensive stand for Alcovy (1-1) came in the second quarter as the Panthers (0-2) had a first and goal from inside the 1-yard line. After shutting the quarterback down on a two running plays, Alcovy’s defense pushed them back for a 10-yard loss forcing Perry to a 29-yard field goal by Daniel Ward with 2:57 left in the opening half to make it 7-3.
“What a pick me up. But what can you say with Ryan Adams, Cole Patterson and Curtiss Benton in there,” Hoffman said. “They’ve led us and they’ll do continue to do it for awhile.”
After the Tigers offense went three and out, Alcovy’s defense again stepped up to give the Tigers 14-3 lead as Robert Bullard intercepted a Dylan Griger pass for a 41-yard touchdown.
“He made a great read and that was a heck of a play. Bullard read a scramble-route and jumped it,” Hoffman said.
Perry thought they got a break after a short punt gave them the ball at midfield late in the third quarter. But Okon Godwin quickly brought the Panthers back to reality intercepting the ball on their first play.
“He’s just being phenomenal,” Hoffman said of Godwin. “To watch those kids grow up has been huge.”
Ryan Adams helped kill any hope of a comeback from Perry with a pair of sacks forcing the Panthers to change their game plan.
Alcovy’s defense held the Panthers to 22 rushing yards but gave up 174 yards in the air including four plays going for more than 20 yards.
“The key for us is to continue to fix small problems and get better,” Hoffman said.
Even though the defense kept the Panthers from gaining any momemtum, the Alcovy offense took the wind out of Perry’s defense with two long drives.
After getting the ball on the 16-yard line following a punt, Alcovy took the ball 84 yards down field on 14 plays. Gaining most of the yards was quarterback Tristen Payne who had nine carries for 47 yards including a three-yard touchdown with 5:25 left in the first period.
Alcovy’s second touchdown drive came following Godwin’s interception. The Tigers offense pushed the ball 50 yards in plays with Payne finishing the drive with a 1-yard run on fourth down.
Even though Payne ran to the corners a few times, most of his runs were between the tackles. Payne finished the game with 91 rushing yards on 27 carries. Alcovy finished the game with 132 rushing yards and 73 passing.
“Last week we got on the corner and they put people on the corner. We felt like we had to stay inside. We had some new linemen in there and they played a great first drive for us. But new we have to be able to do it for four quarters,” Hoffman said. “We’re throwing the ball pretty well and we’re running it pretty well.”