COVINGTON -- Rysan Richardson may have been knocked around, but he was able to maintain his balance and focus long enough to score three goals, giving Alcovy a 4-1 win over Morrow to start Area 2-AAAAAA play on Tuesday.
It took some time for the Tigers (3-1, 1-0) to get used to Morrow's (1-1, 0-1) speed. But once they did, Alcovy was able to move the ball with more control and confidence.
"I've got a lot of respect for (Morrow) coach Herbert Dunbar," Alcovy head coach Chris Edgar said. "I met him a couple of weeks ago and he showed me some of his players play, he's got some speed. He kept them up top and presented us some challenges. Fortunately, my guys didn't let the speed beat us."
That confidence came to fruition with less than eight minutes left in the first half when Richardson caught the keeper running toward the ball. Even though Morrow keeper Sterling Taylor took Richardson's feet out from under him, the ball managed to find the back of the net to give Alcovy the lead.
The Alcovy defense started the second half stepping its game up. But a lapse in judgement allowed the Mustangs' Richelieu Hayes to tie the game 15 minutes into the second half.
"We have to work hard to get our goals and that's fine," Edgar said. "But it seems like we give goals to other teams. Most of the goals we've given up this season have been a miscommunication or something like that."
But once again, Richardson was able to fight off a hit which knocked him off balance to kick the go-ahead goal a minute later.
"We've faced some adversity and they've responded as a team," Edgar said. "They believe that they can win in tight situations. In the years past I don't know that they thought they could have done that."
Even though Morrow had a strong push in the final five minutes of the game, it was Richardson that came up with the goal with 3:04 left to play. The final score of the contest, a penalty kick by Jordan Adair, came with 1:01 showing on the clock.
"He's come a long way from the eighth-grader that started this program," Edgar said of Richardson. "He's fast, he's physical, he can finish and he's an unselfish player. I expect him to go on next year (to college) and do some great things."