The 1973 Covington Buccaneers are perfection. They finished unbeaten at 10-0 and only gave up 24 points en route to be names the Class A State Champions by the Coaches Poll.

Larrie Tisdale

It’s not like the Buccs had an easy schedule either. They dominated such teams as Tipp City, Miami East, Lehman, Versailles and Urbana. They shut out Bradford (28-0), Bethel (60-0), Indian Lake (60-0), Miami East (49-0), Northwestern (47-0), Lehman (17-0), Versailles (38-0) and Urbana (24-0).

For the skeptics who may think this team was never tested they can look at the Buccs thrilling 26-17 victory over Graham. In a game of two unbeaten teams, the Buccs spotted Graham 17 first half points. With defeat staring them in the face, the Buccs responded with 26 unanswered points in the second half for their toughest victory of the season. Also, many of the schools they played were much larger schools which are in high divisions today.

To top it all off for the ’73 Buccs, they were named “Class A” State Champions in the coaches poll, only the second Buccaneer team to receive that honor. The other was the 1960 team.

The names of the players and coaches who made history in 1973 will forever be remembered for their accomplishments. Many of the players on the ’73 team played football at the next level. The most notable are the Vogler brothers who played at Ohio State for legendary coach Woody Hayes. Tim also went on to play professional football for the Buffalo Bills.

The ’73 Buccs never had the opportunity to win a state championship on the field because the playoff system was not in place as it is today but there’s no doubt they are one of the best Buccaneer teams ever, if not the best. Other great Buccaneer teams have followed but none have dominated the way the 1973 team did.

Larrie Tisdale – Coach of the Year
Dave Doseck – UPI Lineman of the Year, 1st Team Offensive Guard, 1st Team Defense
Randy Miller – Honorable Mention Defensive Tackle
Tim Volger – Honorable Mention Fullback
Ron Phillis – Special Mention Linebacker

Larrie Tisdale – Coach of the Year
Dave Doseck – 1st Team Offensive Line
Randy Miller – 1st Team Tackle
Ron Phillis – 1st Team Linebacker
Whitey Forsythe – 2nd Team Offensive End

Larrie Tisdale – Coach of the Year
Dave Doseck – 1st Team Offensive Line
Roger Finfrock – 1st Team Defensive Back
Randy Miller – 1st Team Tackle
Ron Phillis – 1st Team Linebacker
Whitey Forsythe – 1st Team Offensive End
Al Grise – 1st Team Defensive End
Doug Swartz – 1st Team Offensive Guard

Larrie Tisdale…A Coaching Genius
Larrie Tisdale was the most successful coach in Buccaneer history. He compiled a record of 89-30-4. He coached the Buccs from 1967-1973 and again from 1978-1982. He coached the Buccs to two undefeated seasons (’68 and ’73), two 10-1-1 seasons (’79 and ’80) and two 9-1 seasons (’74 and ’78). His 1973 team was Class A State Champions in the coaches poll. and his 1979 team was State Runner-up, losing to Mogadore 23-17 in 2 overtimes.

Tim and Terry Vogler were arguably the most successful football players to ever come out of Covington. They were members of the 1973 State Championship team that finished the season unbeaten. Coached by Larrie Tisdale, the ’73 team only allowed two teams to score points on them in ten games and a total of 24 points all season, a record which stands today. They were also seniors on the 1974 team who finished 9-1. Both went on to play collegiately at Ohio State University under legendary coach Woody Hayes, while Tim advanced to play in the NFL for the Buffalo Bills.

Doug Swartz left his mark on the Covington Community as a great player, teacher, coach and human being. He was a Hall of Fame player in his high school days and a member of the 1973 state championship team. Doug also coaches and taught at Covington for 22 years. He passed away unexpectedly on May 15, 2009.

1973 BUCCANEERS: Row 1 (L-R) - Greg Dennings, Rodney Victor, Roger Finfrock, Ron Phillis, Steve Pennington, John Montgomery, Steve Bordelon, Richard Girouard, Al Grise, Calvin Yingst. Row 2 (L-R) - Dave Nicodemus, Gary (Frank) Robinson, Doug Meyer, Tim Shafer, Terry Vogler, Dennis Besecker, Randy Miller, Galen Mullinnix, Tim Wise. Row 3 (L-R) - Doug Swartz, Tim Vogler, Mike Zimmer, Dave Doty, Bill Lyle, Joe Davis, Rusty Kimmel, Dean Fields. Top Row (L-R) - Mike Leonard, Bob Flora, Mike Apwisch, Dave Dull, Dave Doseck, Steve Burelison, Don Anthony, Whitey Forsythe. Not Pictured: Rick Hollopeter.




Tipp City






Indian Lake


Miami East














Buccaneer quarterback Dave Dull talks about a play with Coach Tisdale.

TIPP CITY – The Buccs started off the season in strong fashion by dominating the Tipp City Red Devils. The Buccs racked up 260 yards on the ground and 15 first downs while holding Tipp to only 2 first downs and a total of 30 yards of offense.

In the second quarter Roger Finfrock broke open a scoreless game with a 7-yard run. Finfrock led the Buccs with 104 yards on the night. Junior Back, Steve Pennington, put the Buccs up 14-0 at the half with a 40-yard run.

Tipp City finally got something going in the third quarter on a 42-yard-run by Phil Kinnison to make the score 14-7 but the Buccs put the game out of reach in the fourth quarter. Dave Dull scored on a 1-yard-run and Dave Doseck closed out the scoring with a 35-yard field goal.


Dave Dull lets a pass fly in a 28-0 win over Bradford.

COVINGTON – The Covington Buccaneers have lost to rival Bradford only once in school history. That was a 7-0 defeat in 1956. Overall the Buccs are 24-1-1 against the Railroaders and the talented Buccs team was looking to make it 25-1-1.

With last season’s 0-0 tie hanging over their heads, the Buccs utilizing a powerful ground game to pound out a 28-0 victory. The Buccs racked up 254 rushing yards on the night and yielded only 29 total yards and 3 first down to Bradford.

On Covington’s opening drive, Roger Finfrock broke through the Bradford defense for a 9-yard touchdown. Later in the first quarter, Whitey Forsythe intercepted a pass from Bradford quarterback, Kim Wiess to set up a Ron Phillis 7-yard run to make the score 14-0.

After failing to score in the second quarter, the Buccs came out in the second half and broke the game open. Tim Vogler scored on runs of 4-yards and 13-yards while holding the Railroaders to a shutout.


Whitey Forsythe runs in the open field after making a catch.

COVINGTON – What happens when you have a powerful, experienced team against a team just getting their feet wet in football? A 60-0 score!

The Buccs dominated their first ever meeting with the Bethel Bees as Dave Dull had his hands in four Buccaneer scores. The senior quarterback passed for 3 touchdowns and ran for another to help improve the Buccs’ record to 3-0 and record their second straight shutout.

The Buccs started off the scoring with a 1-yard-run by Roger Finfrock. Dull took over and led the Buccs to three straight scores on TD passes of 5-yards and 22-yards to Whitey Forsythe and another from 37-yards out to Finfrock. Dull then used his legs to get to the endzone from 25-yards out.

Not to be outdone by Dave Dull, Whitey Forsythe had a big game also. He intercepted two passes (one for a 58-yard touchdown) and had two touchdown receptions. John Montgomery and Rodney Victor also reached the endzone for the Buccs.


Roger Finfrock stiff arms a defender

INDIAN LAKE – Again, what happens when you have a powerful, experienced team against a team just getting their feet wet in football? A 60-0 score!

The Buccs initiated Bethel last week and they did the same for Indian Lake this week. In the first ever meeting between the two teams, the Buccs rolled to a 60-0 victory. They did it in the same fashion; by utilizing their powerful running tandum of Roger Finfrock, Steve Pennington and Tim Vogler.

With the win the Buccs improve to 4-0 on the season and record their third straight shutout. So far the Bucc defense have only given up one score. That was a touchdown to Tipp City in the first game of the season.


Steve Pennington runs through the Viking defense.

COVINGTON – When Miami East and Covington plays there is a history of a dog fight. The Buccs have had Miami East’s number over the years, winning 8 games and only losing 3. The Vikings, however, lay claim to a two-game winning streak over the Buccs which results in the beginning of a brewing rivalry.

The Buccs came into the game with a perfect 4-0 record but the Vikings looked to duplicate last year’s 18-6 victory. The game was big for the Buccs because of their recent mishaps versus the Vikings but also because it was homecoming.

Tim Vogler started off the scoring in the first with one of his two touchdowns on the night. The Buccs went into the locker room at the half ahead 14-0 on a 5-yard run by Roger Finfrock.

In the second half the Buccs poured it on. They pounded the Vikings with their powerful running game. The Buccs use not one or two backs, but four backs to get the job done. Roger Finfrock, Ron Phillis, Tim Vogler and Steve Pennington all scored on touchdown runs.

The Buccs’ passing game was also in mid-season form. Dave Dull hooked up with Terry Vogler on a 34-yard touchdown.

When all was said and done, the Buccs not only avenged their previous downfall they did it in grand fashion and in front of a homecoming crowd and Queen Jody Montgomery.


Terry Vogler #87 and Gary Robinson #61 open a huge hole for Whitey Forsythe #82.

NORTH HAMPTON – The history between these two teams is pretty much one-sided as the Buccs came into the game holding a 7-1 record over Northwestern. The only defeat the Buccs have suffered in this series was a 14-0 shutout loss in 1967. Other than that, the Buccs have dominated Northwestern since the series began in 1964.

Sticking with tradition the Buccs demolished Northwestern 47-0 on the opposing team’s field. The Buccs’ win was the Buccs fifth straight shutout and keeps the Buccs unbeaten at 6-0

Steve Pennington was the workhorse for the Buccs as he racked up 201 yards on the ground and scored four touchdowns on runs of 24, 25, 7 and 39 yards. Pennington opened the scoring on the Buccs first drive on a 24-yard run. On the Buccs next drive, Whitey Forsythe hauled in a Dave Dull pass from 46-yards out and the route was on. Ron Phillis also scored touchdowns on runs of 52-yards and 5-yards.


Roger Finfrock runs the ball around the left end.

COVINGTON – The Buccs haven’t been tested in their first six games of the season but they were against Lehman. The Buccs obtain a stingy defense but Lehman wasn’t far behind. The Cavs held the Buccs to a season low 17 points which is no small task since the Buccs have been racking up over 40 points in their last five games.

Although the Buccs offense sputtered at times, the defense dominated the game. Covington forced eight turnovers which kept Lehman at arms length until the offense could get going. Ron Phillis was the leader on defense with 2 interceptions and a fumble recovery.

As the defense kept taking the ball away from Lehman, the offense made just enough plays to put the game out of reach. The Buccs scored on a 38-yard touchdown pass from Dave Dull to Whitey Forsythe, a 9-yard run by Steve Pennington and a 25-yard field goal from Dave Doseck.

Pennington continued to be a workhorse for the Buccs as he racked up 112 yards on the ground and a touchdown.


Fullback Tim Vogler powers through the Versailles defense.

VERSAILLES – There must be something great that happens for a Buccaneer team when they face Versailles during the season. The last time the Buccs and Tigers hooked up was in the 1960 season. For those who remember, that was the year the Buccs went 10-0 for the first time ever. (1952 team was 9-0). In that contest 13 years ago the Buccs demolished Versailles 60-0 on their way to a state championship.

Thirteen years later the Buccs and Tigers hooked up again. The Buccs, the state’s top-ranked Class A team, notched up their seventh straight shutout of the season with a 38-0 victory over the Versailles Tigers. Five different Buccaneer players put points on the board and the defense held the Tigers to three first downs, 24 rushing yards and 75 passing yards.

Dave Dull scored two touchdowns on runs from 1-yard and 3-yards out. Tim Vogler scored on a 2-yard run and sophomore Bill Lyle scored on a 33-yard run. Dave Dull also hit Whitey Forsythe on a 65-yard touchdown pass and Dave Doseck hit good on a 32-yard field goal.


Steve Pennington and the Buccs came back from a 17-0 halftime deficit by scoring 26 second half points.

COVINGTON – The hometown crowd witnessed perhaps the greatest game in Buccaneer history as two unbeaten teams battled it out for all of the marbles. Not only where unbeaten bragging rights at stake but the Three Rivers Conference Championship was up for grabs as well.

Graham jumped all over the Buccs on the first play of the game. Mike Coleman raced 85-yards to the endzone on the opening kickoff. They added 10 more points in the second quarter as Dave Butts hit Van Hoose for a 2-yard TD and a 31-yard field goal.

Trailing 17-0 at the half the Buccs needed some momentum and they needed it fast. It didn’t take long for them to get it as the backfield of Steve Pennington, Ron Phillis and Tim Vogler scored on four touchdown runs in the second half. Vogler scored on a 2-yard run, Pennington a 23-yard run and a 10-yard run and Dave Dull on a 1-yard run.

The shutout streak is over at seven games but the winning streak is still on. The win puts the Buccs in position to finish off an unbeaten season next week against Urbana.


Coach Larrie Tisdale is carried off the field by his players after a prefect season.

URBANA – As close to perfect as a team can be is what the 1973 Covington Buccaneers were and the 24-0 shutout of Urbana was no different. The Buccs posted their school record 8th shutout and became the fourth Buccaneer team to finish undefeated.

The Buccs used a balanced attack of 129 yards rushing and 109 yards passing to dominate the 7-2-1 Hillclimbers. Dave Dull scored twice and runs from 1-yard and 2-yards out. Steve Pennington scored on a 1-yard run and Dave Doseck hit on a 22-yard field goal.

The Buccs defense, led by Terry Vogler, became the only team to shut out Urbana the entire year. Vogler dominated on both sides of the ball. He knocked Urbana QB, Dave Murphy out of the game on a sack and set up a 2-yard TD with a 34-yard reception.

The Buccs domination on the season culminated in a number 1 ranking in the Class A coaches poll.




Mike Zimmer, Steve Burelison, Dave Doseck, Al Grise, Randy Miller
John Montgomery, Ron Phillis, Dave Dull, Roger Finfrock, Whitey Forsythe
Joe Davis, Gary (Frank) Robinson, Dave Nicodemus.