Tigers stum­ble in first quar­ter, fall to Perry

The Covington News - - Sports - MICHAEL LOUGH Spe­cial to The News

PERRY — Al­covy’s sec­ond in loss in as many games was a rocky af­fair from the start.

The Perry Pan­thers put up 16 first-quar­ter points en route to a 29-17 win Fri­day night.

Perry (1-1) notched a kick­off re­turn for a touch­down, a boom­ing 42-yard field goal, sti­fling de­fense and an in­ter­cep­tion re­turn for a touch­down in the first 12 min­utes.

The Pan­thers then got a re­turn of a long lat­eral for a touch­down to give them a lit­tle breath­ing room in the vic­tory.

Perry coach Stacey Har­den had the ex­hausted look of some­body who played in the game, af­ter watch­ing his of­fense strug­gle most of the game.

“Of­fen­sively, we weren’t hit­ting on all cylin­ders, that’s for sure,” Har­den said. “For­tu­nately, we were able to make a big play there, made some big plays in the kick­ing game, in­ter­cepted a pass. Luck­ily, we found a way to win. That’s the big thing.”

De­spite the early con­trol, Al­covy wouldn’t be held back for long by Perry.

Al­covy trailed by one touch­down when quar­ter­back Marcus Wil­liams stepped back and threw barely back­wards to the right flat.

The throw, a lat­eral, bounced, and Perry sopho­more cor­ner­back K.J. Smith alertly grabbed it and took off run­ning, not stop­ping un­til he had com­pleted the 70-yard play.

That put Perry up by 12 with 8:39 left in the game, al­though Al­covy kept bat­tling, and the game ended with the Tigers inside the 5.

“I’m glad to have the win, don’t get me wrong,” said Har­den, who was with­out a num­ber of regulars, in­clud­ing wide­out/de­fen­sive back A.J Ri­ley and line­man Joe Rucker. “We gut­ted it out.”

Early on, it didn’t seem like the Pan­thers would need such a play to seal a win af­ter a 16-point first

quar­ter.

Daveon Alford took the open­ing kick­off on the right side, slanted across the mid­dle to the left side and got some qual­ity down­field block­ing for a 96-yard score.

Perry forced a quick punt, stalled and set­tled for a 42-yard Daniel Ward field goal. On Al­covy’s sec­ond play, de­fen­sive line­man Austin Rogers picked off a short pass and took it in 35 for the touch­down.

The kick failed, but the Pan­thers led 16-0 with 1:47 left in the first quar­ter.

Al­covy could do noth­ing against Perry’s de­fense, manag­ing all of 8 yards in the first quar­ter.

The Tigers held on fourth-and-1, then got on the board.

with a 35-yard pass from Wil­liams to Nan­pon Ross, sur­viv­ing three penal­ties to pull within 16-7 with 5:35 re­main­ing in the half. Perry seemed to have grabbed the mo­men­tum again with a nice drive, sparked by Ma­lik Doyle’s 27-yard run.

On third and 10, Deonte Solomon fielded a low snap, es­caped se­ri­ous pres­sure and heaved down the mid­dle to a wide open Nick Martens, who found the ball and fin­ished off the 63-yard score with 44.8 sec­onds left, Ward’s kick mak­ing it a 23-7 game.

Al­covy will re­turn home to Sharp Sta­dium Fri­day to take on in­tra­county ri­vals East­side.

Perry 29, Al­covy 17

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