ST. PARIS – Don’t ever try a 10-count on the Covington Buccaneers before they hit the canvas. The Graham Falcons, who came in unbeaten at 2-0 and fresh off of a 21-6 win over Versailles, can attest to that.
Coach Larrie Tisdale’s Buccs, behind the hard-nosed running of junior halfback Denny Cain, the quarterbacking of Rex Huffman and a couple of good breaks, de-feathered the Falcons, 30-19 Friday night in the Mad River Valley League opener for both squads.
Cain picked up 101 yards rushing and scored the game-clinching touchdown. Huffman meantime, ground out 83 yards rushing, passed for one touchdown and ran for two more.
The MRVL loss knocked Graham out of the unbeaten ranks, and upped the Covington seasonal mark to 2-1. Graham also stands at 2-1 on the season.
The Buccaneers got the ball rolling early when Larry Gearhardt pounced on a Graham fumble on the first play of the game. On the very next play, Covington senior fullback Bud Clark found daylight up the middle and rambled 23 yards for the score. The run for the conversion failed, but the Buccs had a 6-0 advantage after only 1:15 had ticked off the clock.
Graham could do nothing with the ball after receiving the Covington kickoff, and they punted to the Bucc 38 yard line where Tisdale’s crew cranked up.
In 10 plays, Huffman piloted a drive to Graham’s 20 where the ball rested with a fourth and nine situation. On the next play, Huffman found Mike Manson for a 20-yard scoring strike, and with 31 seconds left in the opening stanza, it was Covington 12, Graham 0. The pass for conversion points was incomplete.
Graham bounced back midway through the second quarter when Steve Guey recovered a Covington fumble on the Buccs’ 45 yard line. Six plays later, with 2:51 left in the half, Dennis Lewis took a Steve Guey pass and scampered 21 yards to paydirt. A bad snap from center eliminated Paul Sullenberger’s chances of kicking the extra point, and the Buccs led, 12-6.
Covington wasted little time in putting another six points on the board. Taking the Graham kickoff on their own 29, they sent Huffman on an option play around right end on the first play for a 71-yard scoring jaunt. The pass for the conversion was again incomplete and the halftime gun sounded with the Buccs on top, 18-6.
The first Covington offensive series of the second half netted them a fourth TD, marching 64 yards in 13 plays. The touchdown drive was highlighted by a critical 23-yard first down run by punter Gary Wackler on a broken play, and a 26-yard run by Cain. The score came on a Huffman one-yard plunge.
The Falcons turned around and took the kickoff for an 81-yard scoring drive that took 11 plays. With 2:24 left in the third quarter, Lewis went off right tackle for the final yard, putting the Falcons just two touchdowns behind. The conversion kick by Sullenberger was good, and it was 24-13.
With only 3:19 left to play, Graham’s passing combenation of Guey to Mark Simpson brought the Falcons within striking distance of Covington with a 23-yard touchdown. The touchdown was the result of a Bucc penalty that moved the ball from midfield to the Covington’s 26. Sullenberger’s kick for conversion points was blocked.
The Falcons tried an on-sides kick in an attempt to get the football, but the play only resulted in good field position for Covington. The Buccs took over on Graham’s 49, but could only muster three yards in three plays.
Then, with fourth and six on the Graham 46, Huffman pitched out to Cain on a fake punt, and the speedy Bucc scatback scooted 46 yards to the endzone, icing the game for the Buccs. The conversion pass was no good, and with 1:58 left in the game, Covington held a “comfortable” 30-19 lead.
next game against Northwestern
Scoring By Quarters:
Covington ……12…..6…..6……6 – 30
Graham ……….0……0…..7….12 – 19
Covington – Clark, 23-yard run; PAT: run failed
Covington – Huffman to Manosn, 20-yard pass; PAT: pass failed
Graham – Guey to Lewis, 21-yard pass; PAT: kick failed
Covington – Huffman, 71-yard run; PAT: pass failed
Covington – Huffman, 1-yard run; PAT pass failed
Graham – Lewis, 1-yard run; PAT Sullenberger kick
Graham – Guey to Simpson, 23-yard pass; PAT: kick blocked
Covington – Cain, 46-yard run; PAT: pass failed