NEWNAN The Alcovy Tigers hopes of springing the upset on a cold Friday ended Friday night here on the road at Drake Stadium as they fell to the Cougars 38-0.
"I am really proud of this team," Alcovy head coach Kirk Hoffman said. "We have made the playoffs two years in a row, and that is huge for this team. This was a great environment to play in, and we can only get better from here."
The loss spoiled the performance of Cornell White who rushed for over 100 yards as the Tigers ended their season with a 4-7 record.
It wasn't all good news for the Cougars who were playing in the playoffs for the 10th straight year. With the Cougars leading 17-0 at the end of the first half, they appeared ready to throw the knockout punch when sophomore quarterback Bailey Bryant opened the second half by driving Newnan from his own 37
to inside the Alcovy 2 helped by Quinton Dix who picked up big yardage on 30 and 25 yard gains. After Dix's second carry of the series, Bryant left the game hurting his shoulder as he tried to recover a fumble that turned the ball back to Alcovy.
It ended a great night for Bryant who started out on fire completing 9 of 10 pass for 117 yards and a touchdown.
Earlier in the game, center Miles Moran left with a knee injury. With the offense hurting, Newnan turned to its defense for some key plays down the stretch forcing two turnovers to prevent possible Alcovy drives with the Tigers still within striking distance. Cornerback Rodney Tennie seized the momentum right back when he returned an interception 30 yards for a score to give Newan a 24-0 lead.
Even with Bailey out of the game, the Cougars offense continued to click. Quarterback Diamond Jones connected on three of four passes late in the game. His biggest of the night was on a third down when he teamed up with Traon Moss, who tight roped the sidelines to help move the first down stick.
That set the stage for Kevlin Khayyam to score the first of his two touchdowns. Khayyam first trip to the end zone game on a 2-yard sprint late in the third quarter. The senior running back also found the end zone on a 9-yard run late in the fourth quarter for the final score of the game.
The Tigers helped out Newnan giving up a safety when the punter Rysan Richardson stepped out of the back of the end zone after the Cougars' defense pinned them deep when White was whistled for intentional grounding.
Newnan marched 47 yards on its first series of the game capped by Dix's 1-yard run. The Cougars took nearly five minutes to find the end zone using a 10-play drive to find the end zone.
Newnan converted a third down and 10- during the drive when Bryant connected with Tray Matthews on a 10-yard pass. Two plays before scoring on his short touchdown run, Dix moved the first down sticks
with a short run on third down. Bailey and Matthews hooked up late in the second quarter on an even bigger play. With 1:14 left in before the half, and facing a 3 and 5, Bryant rolled to his left, faked the handoff and found the senior wide receiver open on a 39 yard touchdown pass with 1:14 left.
The scoring drive came right after Richardson's 44-yard field goal was blocked killing the Tigers' best scoring chance of the first half.
Newnan nearly had one more chance to score right before the end of the first half after Tennie intercepted White's pass attempt. White was the first half-catalyst for the Tigers. Lining up as the the Tigers' main runner, White rushed for 77 yards on 13 carries in the first half.
Newnan held the Tigers two just two first downs in the first half, but White picked up both with runs of 18 and 8 yards.