COVINGTON – A mistake riddled second half nearly turned victory into defeat for the Covington Buccaneers, but coach Larrie Tisdale’s crew, behind a two-touchdown production by junior scatback, Denny Cain, hung on to record their second straight Mad River Valley League win over Northwestern, 18-6.
The homecoming victory accounted for Covington’s third in four outings, and extended the Buccs’ victory string to three straight games after losing to Tipp City in their seasonal opener.
In other Mad River Valley League play, Graham fell to Northeastern, 27-8; and Springfield Shawnee blasted Miami East, 48-0.
Tisdale summated his teams’ performance a being “tough in the first half, but terrible in the final two quarters.” Tisdale was referring to the fact that Covington tallied all 18 points in the opening two quarters, but a series of mistakes from fumbles to silly penalties stymied the Buccs in the second half.
Northwestern took the opening kickoff, but failed to produce any favorable results when a fumble on the Warriors’ 35-yard-line gave the Buccs the ball in ideal field position. Four Covington plays later, Cain scampered around right end for nine yards and the score. The run for the conversion failed, and with 6:20 left in the opening stanza, Covington clung to a 6-0 lead.
Again, after the kickoff, the Covington defense held tight and the Warriors were forced to punt after only three offensive cracks.
With 56 seconds remaining in the first quarter, Cain capilalized on the Buccs’ defensive efforts when he took the ball 26 yards to paydirt, five plays after the Northwestern punt. The run for conversion points again failed.
Senior fullback, Bud Clark, took over in the second period as he capped a 61-yard Covington scoring drive late in the first half with a two-yard plunge. The attempt for the points after touchdown failed again, and with 42 seconds showing in the first half, it was Covington 18, Northwestern 0.
The second half was an entirely different story for Covington. Due to penalties and mental mikstakes, the Buccs found their backs to the wall much of the third period, and the game turned into little more than a punting contest. The teams exchanged a trio of punts early in the fourth quarter, but finally, Northwestern put together a scoring drive midway though the closing period that was capped by a five-yard run by Mark Fent with 5:22 left in the game.
An on-sides kick by Northwestern failed to do anything but give the Buccaneers good field position, but again, Covington failed to turn the opportunity into a score.
Tisdale’s crew did threaten late in the game when quarterback, Rex Huffman, completed successful passes of 21 and 33 yards to senior tight end Ed Hartley, but the time ran out, and the clock had halted the drive.
This was the first game of the season that Cain was held to less than 100 yards rushing as the Buccaneer speedster totaled but 71 yards in 14 carries. Hartley was the leading pass receiver for the hosts with 64 yards on 4 receptions.
Covington swings back into MRVL action next Friday when they travel to meet the Greenon Knights. Greenon has yet to win their first seasonal, or MRVL, encounter.
Scoring By Quarters:
Covington ……..12…..6…..0……0 – 18
Northwestern ….0…..0…..0……6 – 6
Covington – Cain, 9-yard run; PAT: run failed
Covington – Cain, 26-yard run; PAT: run failed
Covington – Clark, 2-yard run; PAT: passfailed
Northwestern – Fent, 5-yard run; PAT: run failed