Facing their toughest test of the year at Versailles Friday night, Covington’s battling Buccaneers gallantly rose to the occasion and overpowered the stubborn Tigers, 13-0. This victory guaranteed at least a share of the Tri-County League title and a victory over Bradford, their only remaining league opponent, would sew up the championship for Covington for the second successive season.
Once again the Covington defensive line proved impenetrable to the enemy and in a superb exhibition of the finer arts of the game, completely thwarted any Versailles hopes of gaining yardage on the ground.
However, in an unorthodox and baffling pass attack operating from both, single and double wing formations, the Versailles Tigers capitalized on the accurate arm of halfback Schwepe and coupled with a brilliant display of the quick kick, consistently menaced the Buccaneers and kept an estimated 2,000 roaring fans on the edge of their seats until the final gun.
The bitter battle for league domination produced a scoreless first quarter and as the game wore on it became clear that the contest would be a defensive battle with the Versailles Tigers rallying to stop coach Paul Devine’s pulvorizing ground attack, while the Buccaneers pushed to the limit to halt the Versailles air offensive.
Late in the first period, a bad pass from center with Versailles in punting formation on fourth and four, gave Covington possession of the pigskin on the Tiger 20. A series of downs moved the ball to the nine and three plays later to the one-foot line as the quarter ended.
Seconds later, after the squads had changed ends, Doug Diltz, the Buccaneer halfback, blasted into the endzone for the first score of the contest. Woods’ conversion was wide and Covington took a 6-0 advantage.
The remainder of the period developed into a fierce defensive battle and the half ended 6-0 in the midst of a Buccaneer march, Covington on the offensive, first and ten at midfield.
Versailles took Covington’s second half kickoff and brought the ball back to their own 36. The Tigers took to the air immediately only to have their strategy prove fatal as Leonard Woods intercepted and was downed on the Covington 49.
On the first play from scrimmage, Capt. Woods skirted left end on a magnificent dash and moved the ball to the Versailles 20. Three power plays and a Tobias-to-Woods screen pass gave Covington a first down on the Tiger five-yard line. An attempted end run cost the Buccs six yards, moving the ball back to the eleven from where the “Thundering Herd” unveiled a dazzling double hand-off, sending Leonard Woods through a giant gap in the Tiger line to cross the goal line untouched. His conversion kick split the uprights and the score stood, Covington 13, Versailles 0.
At this point the Versailles’ air offensive began to click and, aided by a pass interference penalty, the Tigers moved into Covington territory. The Tigers’ scoring bid was halted shortly there after when Bob Tobias intercepted a Tiger aerial on his own 25 and then punted out of danger as the quarter ended.
The fourth period saw the Tigers again resort to the quick kick and after several punt exchanges, push the ball to the Covington 19 where coach Paul Devine’s pride and joy, the all-powerful Buccaneer defensive wall, rose up to meet the challange and batter the Tigers’ last futile attempt to score.
Versailles’ employment of the quick kick, keeping the ball away from Devine’s fleet scatbacks and punt return men, was a vital factor in slowing the Covington offense, as it forced the Buccs to launch drives from deep in their own territory.
Scoring By Quarters:
Covington ……6….0….7…..0 – 13
Versailles ……0….0….0…..0 – 0