The 1974 Buccaneers finished one game short of a perfect season as Graham took a measure of revenge against Covington.

1974 COVINGTON BUCCANEERS: Front row (L-R) - D. Dosnight, T. Wise, R. Victor, S. Pennington, S. Bordelon, D. Doty, M. Shafer, M. Apwisch. Row 2 (L-R) - J. Manson, R. Besecker, S. Finfrock, L. Minnich, R. Hollopeter, G. Dennings, D. Swartz, B. Lyle, G. Brinkman. Row 3 (L-R) - R. Girouard, A. Stephan, K. McMaken, E. Rupright, R. Kimmel, C. Yingst, T. Vogler, T. Vogler, D. Meyer. Row 4 (L-R) - G. Furrow, B. McDade, R. Cassel, K. Harvey, S. Grise, S. Smith, S. Garey, T. Fields.
Rex Thompson

The 1974 team was riding a 11 game winning streak going into the season and was following the Class A State Championship team. The expectations were high considering many players from the ’73 team were still around. The biggest loss for the Buccs was the coach of the ’73 team (Larrie Tisdale) was gone. New coach, Rex Thompson had plenty of weapons at his disposal to make the ’74 team successful, which he did.

Covington rolled through the first seven games with six of the seven wins coming via a shutout. The Buccs improved to 8-0 with wins over Lehman and Versailles, but dropped a heartbreaking 17-8 defeat to Graham in week nine. Still, the Buccaneers closed out a memorable season with a 12-0 win over Urbana.

On the season the Buccs (9-1 overall and 6-1 in TRC) finished second behind Graham (9-1 overall and 7-1 in TRC) in the Three Rivers Conference. The Buccs scored a total of 348 points and surrendered only 48 points. They didn’t match the success of the year before, but this team still has to be regarded in the same league as all of the other great teams in the past.

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 collegially 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.

1974 BUCCS - 9-1



Tipp City






Indian Lake


Miami East













The Buccs began the season with a 26-6 win over Tipp City. The Buccs were led by touchdown runs from Tim Vogler, Rodney Victor, Steve Pennington and Dave Doty. Pennington led the Buccs with 78 yards on 14 attempts while Rick Hollopeter recorded a blocked punt and a fumble recovery.

Bradford was next and the Buccs shut out the Railroaders for the seventh straight year. The last time Bradford scored on Covington was in 1967. Dave Doty hit Terry Vogler over the middle for a 65-yard touchdown on the Bucc’s first play from scrimmage. Tim Vogler, who rushed for 124 yards on 19 carries, scored from 2 yards out and Dave Doty added 2 scores himself, one from 12 yards away and the other from 5 yards. The Buccs’ defense also put points on the board as Larry Minnich scored a safety on a blocked punt. On the game the Buccs had 348 yards rushing and their defense held Bradford to only 6 yards rushing.

92-0! That’s what the Buccs did to the visiting Bethel Bees. The score angered Bethel coach Dennis Reck because he felt Covington ran up the score on his outmanned Bees. Buccs’ coach Rex Thompson objected, indicating that he substituted his players after the Buccs were up 34-0 at the end of the first quarter. Even with the substitutions the Buccs continued to score. Rick Girouard, a 5-foot-3, 112-pound sophomore led the Buccs on four scoring drives. It didn’t matter who the Buccs put in front of the Bees, they continued to score. The defense was just as dominating. They held the Bees to -9 yards of total offense and -29 yards of rushing. They forced 3 fumbles. The Bees punted twelve times for an average of 4.5 yards. The Buccs had 21 first downs to Bethel’s 3.

Buccs’ coach Rex Thompson took more heat in the Bucc’s 32-0 win over Indian Lake the next week. Indian Lake coach Dave McDonald accused the Buccs of playing his starters too long after the game was decided. The Buccs, led by Steve Pennington’s 189 yards on 22 carries, broke out to a 8-0 lead at the end of the first quarter on Pennington’s 53-yard touchdown run. The Buccs added 16 more points in the second on Dave Doty’s 18-yard pass to Tim Shafer and Doty’s 19-yard TD run right before the half. Leading 24-0 in the fourth, the Buccs put the final score on the board as Tim Vogler plowed in from 7 yards away.

The Buccs used a powerful running attack to score their fourth straight shutout as they defeated Miami East 35-0. The Buccs racked up 364 yards rushing and held the Vikings to only 38 total yards. Tim Vogler started the Buccs off with a 13-yard touchdown run and then a 5-yard score to give the Buccs a 14-0 halftime lead. In the third quarter the Buccs added a 1-yard run by Rodney Victor and a 33-yard touchdown pass from Dave Doty to Terry Vogler to make the score 28-0. The Buccs scored again in the fourth quarter on a 2-yard run by Pennington. The Buccs scoring drives were from 99, 90, 70, 62, and 38 yards. Steve Pennington led the Buccs in rushing with 146 yards on 20 carries and Tim Vogler added 129 yards on 17 carries.

The Buccs scored their fifth straight shutout of the season by defeating Northwestern 42-0. Led by Steve Pennington’s 129 yards rushing and Tim Vogler’s 122 yards rushing the Buccs dominated Northwestern. The Buccs got on the scoreboard on their first possession as Dave Doty scored from 2 yards out on a quarterback sneak. Twenty more points were added in the second quarter. Tim Vogler broke loose on a 52-yard run down to the 2 and Pennington took it in from there. Then Pennington scored on a 20-yard run to make the score 28-0 at the half. The second half was more of the same as the Buccs scored two more times. Pennington again broke loose, this time from 35 yards away and Bill Lyle ended the scoring with a 2-yard run.

The shutout streak ended at five but the 18 game winning streak continued as the Buccs came back from a 13-6 halftime deficit to defeat Lehman 28-13. Lehman scored first on a 60-yard reverse by Jim Dembski. The Buccs tied the score at 6-6 on a Tim Vogler 5-yard score. Lehman responded on a Mike Liddy pass to Dembski to make the score 13-6 at the half. In the second half the Buccs came alive. Steve Pennington scored on a 29-yard run and the 2-point conversion made it 14-13 Buccs at the end of the third. The Buccs added two more scores in the fourth as Tim Vogler scored from 8 yards and 2 yards out. On the night the Buccs had two players reach the 100-yard mark. Vogler ran for 113 and Pennington ran for 100.

The Buccs recorded their 19th straight victory (8th this season) by dominating Versailles 44-12. Behind 161 yards rushing by Steve Pennington and 127 yards rushing by Tim Vogler the Buccs jumped out to a 28-6 halftime lead and never looked back. Bucc quarterback, Dave Doty, opened the scoring on a 2-yard run but was lost in the second quarter to an ankle injury. Rodney Victor switched from halfback to quarterback and engineered the Buccs to three scores before halftime. In the second half the Buccs stuck to their powerful running game as Vogler and Pennington moved the Buccs down the field at will. Pennington scored twice in the second half.

The last loss the Buccs had was in the second to last game on the 1972 season to Miami East 18-6. The last loss Graham had was in the second to last game of last season and that was to Covington. Something had to give. The Buccs and Falcons waged a vicious battle for the second straight year. Last year the Buccs were trailing 17-0 at the half before storming back to defeat Graham 26-17. This time Graham was behind 8-7 at the end of the third quarter and pulled out on top 17-8 reversing the tables on the Buccs. Behind 256 yards rushing, Graham dominated the fourth quarter by scoring 10 points and holding the Buccs scoreless in the second half. The only Buccs score was on a 1-yard run by Tim Vogler and a two-point conversion by Steve Pennington.

The Buccs finished the 1974 season in strong fashion by recording their sixth shutout of the season with a 12-0 win over Urbana. Tim Vogler scored all twelve points for the Buccs and the defense held the Hillclimbers to 43 yards rushing. Urbana did, however, rack up an impressive 164 yards passing but failed to turn the yards into points. The Buccs grounded out 155 yards rushing and forced two fumbles.

Doug Swartz
Steve Pennington
Terry Vogler
Rodney Victor
Tim Shafer
SENIORS: Kneeling (L-R) - Gregg Brinkman, Tim Wise, Rodney Victor, Steve Pennington, Steve Bordelon. Standing (L-R) - Doug Meyer, Dan Fosnight, Terry Vogler, Tim Vogler, Doug Swartz.
Tim Vogler, a 1975 Covington Graduate, during his playing days with the Buffalo Bills.