FOOT­BALL

The Covington News - - Sports -

af­ter Thurs­day’s victory that his team played the best opener he’s seen thus far. Head­ing into the game, Hurst said he was con­cerned about the short week and didn’t re­ally know what to ex­pect. Ev­ery­thing went well for the fourth-year coach, es­pe­cially on of­fense where he saw vet­eran quar­ter­back Justin Wray pick apart the Har­ris County de­fense to the tune of 121 yards pass­ing in­clud­ing a per­fect 9-for-9 first half start.

“They sur­passed what I was an­tic­i­pat­ing,” Hurst said af­ter Thurs­day’s game. “They ex­e­cuted to the high­est level than we have in a long time.”

Both teams come in to the game healthy, and even though Hurst said Wray bruised a thigh mid­way through the game against Har­ris County, both coaches will have their key play­ers avail­able.

“We have a few mi­nor in­juries,” Al­covy coach Kirk Hoff­man said. “We don’t have any­thing that should keep any­one out of the game.”

East­side will get Rashad Hill back from a one-game sus­pen­sion and Hurst ex­pects him, along with Brod­er­ick Alexan­der, to shoul­der the load at run­ning back.

For the past two years, the meet­ing be­tween the two teams, lo­cated a mere 10 miles apart, meant more than just an­other game. Now that Al­covy has moved to Re­gion 8-AAAA and East­side has dropped down to 8-AAA, the two schools' paths cross, but the game does not have any league ram­i­fi­ca­tions. That doesn’t mean th­ese guys aren’t fired up about the meet­ing.

“This is a big game be­cause it is the next game on our sched­ule,” Al­covy coach Kirk Hoff­man said. “But it’s big be­cause it’s also a ri­valry game.”

The Tigers should be able to keep pace with the Ea­gles on de­fense, but Al­covy will need to put up some points. Based on their first game, it's a safe bet the Ea­gles will score more than three points. Then again, they haven’t played a team with the de­fen­sive speed Al­covy pos­sesses.

So far, East­side has shown the abil­ity to score af­ter long drives. Al­covy will have to force short se­ries and win the turnover bat­tle to be suc­cess­ful. If it comes down to spe­cial teams, Al­covy may have the edge in kicker Kyle Voltjoski whom Hoff­man re­gards as one of the best he’s coached. Chances are he may get a shot at help­ing his team win.

What­ever the case, Hoff­man knows his team will need to take care of the ball and take ad­van­tage when they get the ball close to the end zone. Af­ter fail­ing to score a touch­down af­ter three trips deep in New­ton’s ter­ri­tory last week, the Tigers will be looking to cap­i­tal­ize on ev­ery op­por­tu­nity.

“We have to ex­e­cute ev­ery play and we need to get bet­ter ev­ery down,” Hoff­man said. “Mis­takes against a team like East­side can hurt you.”

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