SPRINGFIELD – The Covington Buccaneers exploded for a 22-point first half Friday night, and the turned back a Northeastern comeback to clinch a 28-20 victory and a second place finish behind Springfield Shawnee in the Mad River Valley League.
In other MRVL action, Shawnee blasted Northwestern 60-0; Greenon got by Miami East 32-12; and Graham received a 42-0 non-league drubbing from powerful New Lexington.
The Buccs took command in the first minutes of play when they stopped Northeastern cold, following the kickoff.
Taking over from their own 48, the Buccaneers, with Bud Clark, Mike Manson and Denny Cain grinding out big gainers, put together a scoring drive that climaxed with 4:41 left in the first period when Clark bulled his way to paydirt from six yards out. The run for conversion points failed, but Covington had jumped to a 6-0 advantage.
After the Jets’ offensive 11 was again stymied by the Bucc defense, Covington took over early in the second period from its own 38. Six plays later, Manson followed a Clark block into the endzone for a four-yard touchdown with 10:36 to play in the first half. Cain ran for the conversion points and the score stood at 14-0.
The Jets tried to get back into the ball game late in the half when Mike Augustus scampered 35 yards for Northeastern’s first tally. The coversion run, with 3:33 remaining before the halftime gun, failed, and the score stood at 14-6, Covington.
The Buccaneers retaliated just over two minutes later when Clark struck paydirt from the two and Clark’s run for conversion, with 1:10 left in the half made it 22-6.
The second half started out the same as did the first 24 minutes of ball with Covington in the driver’s seat. Defenses dominated the entire third quarter, and neither team could muster a sustained scoring drive.
The Jets got back into the ball game early in the final stanza when Bryce Banion got loose for a 78-yard scoring jaunt that brought Northeastern to within 10 points with 8:57 remaining in the game. The run for the conversion fell short, however.
The Buccs were held on their next offensive series, and Northeastern received the punt and began a drive that could have brought the Jets to within one touchdown of victory. But Clark stymied the drive with a pass interception, getting the Buccs momentarily out of trouble.
Clark’s interception set up the final Covington touchdown with Cain getting the call on the first play from scrimmage and scampering 35 yards to score with 8:57 left in the game.
Northeastern registered another touchdown by Banion with two and one-half minutes remaining in the game, but that wasn’t enough as the Buccs ran out the clock and clung to the 28-20 MRVL closing victory.
Scoring By Quarters:
Covington ………6…..16…..0……6 – 28
Northeastern ….0…….6…..6……8 – 20
Covington – Clark, 6-yard run; PAT: run failed
Covington – Manson, 4-yard run; PAT: Cain run
Northeastern – Augustus, 35-yard run; PAT: run failed
Covington – Cain, 2-yard run; PAT: Clark Run
Northeastern – Banion, 78-yard run; PAT: run failed
Covington – Cain, 35-yard run; PAT: run failed
Northeastern – Banion, 8-yard run; PAT: Augustus run