Turnovers top­ple Tigers

The Covington News - - Sports - BRYAN FAZIO bfazio@cov­news.com

Com­mit­ting four turnovers and eight penal­ties is a dif­fi­cult way to start the e football sea­son.

Un­for­tu­nately for the e Al­covy Tigers those mis­cues hap­pened to them in Thurs­day night’s 21-16 loss to Jones County at Sharp Sta­dium. For­tu­nately for Al­covy, how­ever, was the fact that it was a non-re­gion game, with three more outof-league con­tests to go thanks to the Ge­or­gia High School As­so­ci­a­tion’s re­clas­si­fi­ca­tion.

Along with the turnovers and penal­ties, there were also plenty of pos­i­tives for Al Al­covy.

“I was proud how we han­dled the ad­ver­sity, we got down but we bat­tled back,” Al­covy coach Kirk Hoffman said. “We still made too many mis­takes.”

The Tigers over­came three hold­ing penal­ties on their first two drives, forc­ing Jones County (1-0) to punt from its own 34-yard line. The snap was bad and Al­covy re­cov­ered on the Grey-- hounds’ 15-yard line.

Af­ter two runs, Al­covy went to the air with se­nior quar­ter­back Marcus Wil­liams throw­ing to ju­nior Jaylin Penny for an 18-yard touch­down.

Wil­liams started some games for the Tigers in 2011, and was given the nod as the open­ing game starter by Hoffman af­ter what was,

at times, a four-quar­ter­back race. Wil­liams had two big passes — the touch­down, along with a 35-yard throw in the fourth quar­ter — and a big 35-yard scram­ble to show prom­ise com­ing this sea­son. He also over­came some poor passes as he threw three in­ter­cep­tions, along with a fum­ble for a loss.

The Tigers went to the air more, giv­ing Wil­liams op­por­tu­ni­ties for both touch­downs and in­ter­cep­tions.

“We threw the ball a lit­tle more than you’ve prob­a­bly seen,” Hoffman said. “I’ve got a lot of con­fi­dence, I think we can throw it, and we’ve got pretty good re­ceivers. When they’re go­ing to pack the box in and stop the run­ning game, we have to be able to throw it.

“I think Marcus did an out­stand­ing job. We made a cou­ple of key mis­reads, that’s why we have to get bet­ter.”

Wil­liams first in­ter­cep­tion be­gan a key se­quence of events for the Grey­hounds that would be­gin a rally from a 10-0 deficit.

Af­ter Jones County picked up the sec­ond-quar­ter in­ter­cep­tion on the Tigers 48-yard line, Al­covy shut them down with a 7-yard loss and a sack for an 8-yard loss to set up third-and-25 from the 37.

How­ever, the Tigers let one slip by as Jones County peeled off a 53-yard screen pass to put the Grey­hounds on the Al­covy 8-yard line.

From there, they handed it off twice to Un­dre Wil­liams for the touch­down. It was the first of three touch­downs for Wil­liams, who has re­ceived of­fers from Ge­or­gia, Ge­or­gia Tech, Clem­son, Ore­gon, Auburn, Vir­ginia Tech and Wis­con­sin.

Un­dre Wil­liams’ first score came with 32.6 sec­onds left in the first half, af­ter Ry­sen Richard­son kicked a 30-yard field goal to give Al­covy a 10-0 lead with 9:35 left in the sec­ond quar­ter.

That mo­men­tum car­ried through to the sec­ond half as Un­dre Wil­liams scored on an 8-yard run with 7:50 left in the third quar­ter and on a 32-yard run 18 sec­onds into the fourth.

Jones County kept the Tigers’ de­fense on the field throughout much of the sec­ond half, ei­ther with long drives or by its de­fense grab­bing turnovers.

But throughout it Al­covy’s de­fense con­tin­ued to at­tack the Grey­hounds, forc­ing a punt from their own 10-yard line. Al­covy turned the good field po­si­tion into a touch­down af­ter Marcus Wil­liams hit Cor­nell White for a 35-yard pass.

Chris Spleen then ran it in from four yards, and Al­covy’s con­ver­sion at­tempt failed for the fi­nal score.

How­ever, the Tigers looked like they could threaten again when they turned a Jones County thir­dand-14 into a fourth-and-26 deep from within Grey­hounds’ ter­ri­tory thanks to a sack by Leroy Robin­son and Ben­ton Cur­tiss.

On the en­su­ing punt Al­covy pres­sured the punter to the point, where it al­most got the block but in­stead ran into the punter giv­ing Jones County a first-down and the abil­ity to run out the clock.

“It’s like I told (our play­ers), in the past when we got down we kind of hung our heads,” Hoffman said. “Tonight we got down and bounced back a lit­tle bit. That shows a lit­tle of what this team is made of.”

Al­covy will continue to build upon that re­solve with non-re­gion matchups against Perry Sept. 7, East­side Sept. 14 and Jack­son Sept. 21 be­fore en­ter­ing Re­gion 2-AAAAAA play against Luella on Sept. 28.

“We just keep get­ting bet­ter these four non-re­gions and I’ll feel pretty good about re­gion (play),” Hoffman said.

Jones County 21

Al­covy 16

An­thony Banks /The Cov­ing­ton News

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