of quarterbacks because you don’t know what’s going to happen Friday night.”
Stockbridge will look to get 6-foot-5 wide receiver Kevin Burke involved. Burke is catching the eyes of several college scouts so far but has yet to really showcase his talents as a young offensive line has made it hard for quarterback Ben Carr to find time in the pocket to pass.
Much like Stockbridge, Hoffman knows Alcovy will have to establish a running game in order to take pressure off the quarterback and open up the passing game. After recording 100-yard game in the opener against Newton, senior running back Malachi Outlaw has failed to reach the century mark in the last two games.
“The biggest thing is we have to run the football a little bit,” he said. “If you run the football, the passing game is going to open up. We’ve been way too inconsistent with the running game so far. We have to find a way to get Malachi (Outlaw) some success.”
Stockbridge coach Don Vandygriff made his reputation as Dublin High School’s defensive coordinator before taking the sidelines as a head coach for the first time this year. So far, the results have been mixed. In three games, the Tigers have given up 14, 14 and three points through their first three games. But Vandygriff has the personnel to run his style of defense as he employs a 3-4 base set led by senior linebackers Tim Lawrence and Thad Rachel.
“Stockbridge is like everyone else in the region. They are going to spread you out and try to get to the corner with their speed,” Alcovy coach Kirk Hoffman said.
“Defensively, they run hard to the football. I’ve been really impressed with them defensively.”
The key to tonight’s game may very well come down to turnovers. The Tigers had trouble holding on to the ball at key times last week but did pick up a defensive score on Nick Wilson’s 93-yard interception return. However, Hoff- man said the entire region has speed on defense and he knows his team will have to take care of the ball.
“We have to put a solid game together,” he said. “Two weeks ago against Eastside we didn’t have any turnovers and we were right there. Last week against North Clayton had turnovers and we were still there. But we have to take care of the football and keep playing sound. We’ve been toothand-nail with everyone so far. We just have to keep playing.”
One game does not make a season and nobody knows that better than Hoffman. While his team is 1-2, he is keeping things in perspective. With seven games remaining, the Tigers have time to build upon its region record. A win tonight would be a good start.
“The kids understand where we are at,” Hoffman said. “I told the kids to look at the season overall so far. If you count our scrimmage, we are 2-2. If you take that out, we’re 1-2 but could easily be 3-0 so it’s not time to start jumping ship and panicking. We still have a long road ahead of us and plenty of time to get better.”