1978 COVINGTON BUCCANEERS
The 1978 Buccs may have been one of the best teams in school history, but one loss prevented them from getting the recognition they deserve.
Whenever folks get together to talk about the greatest teams in Covington history, rarely do you hear the 1978 team roll off of someone’s lips. Sure, the unbeaten teams from 1952, 1960, 1968 and 1973 and the state runner-ups from 1979 all have a legitimate claim to the “greatest team” designation, but the 1978 team was right up there with the best of the best.
After all, coach Tisdale’s 1978 squad posted 7 shutouts in 10 games and only surrendered 52 points all year. Their one fault, however, was a 28-12 loss at the hands of a very talented Versailles team in week seven. This loss prevented the Buccs from and unbeaten season and gaining a birth in the state playoffs.
The Buccs, which consisted on many talented juniors, opened the season with a 30-12 win over Parkway. Four straight shutouts followed, beginning with a 49-0 shellacking over Tipp City. Both Bradford and Miami East then suffered the same fate by falling by the same score 20-0. For the fourth straight shutout, the Buccs had to rely on their defense as Springfield Catholic prevented the Buccs from lighting up the scoreboard. In the end, Covington took an 8-0 decision.
Covington recorded their sixth straight win of the season the next week against Lehman. The Cavaliers managed to score 12 points on the Buccs’ stingy defense, but the Buccaneer offense was up to the task by scoring 32 points of their own.
Week seven was the night that prevented history from happening for the Buccs. Looking for a chance to become the first team to qualify for the state playoffs, the Buccs fell to Versailles 28-12. The loss eventually prevented the Buccs from earning a playoff birth and they would have to wait another year to become the first area team to qualify for the state playoffs.
The final three teams on the schedule paid dearly for the frustration the Buccs suffered against Versailles. All three were shut out as Covington played their best football of the season. The Buccs destroyed Graham 20-0, St. Henry 43-0 and Urbana 50-0 to end the season at 9-1.
“I thought we were just as good in 1978 as we were in ’79,” said Joe Schmidt as he discussed his memories of high school football. “Our defense was definitely better in ’78. We just had that one bad game and it cost us.”