Sept 14 – COVINGTON
Yuck! That’s how every player on the Covington Buccaneers’ sideline must have felt after their scoreless tie to their longtime rival Bradford. Especially when you consider Covington outgained Bradford 243 yards to 71, turned the ball over 4 times and committed 10 penalties for 75 yards.
The Buccaneer’ miscues almost cost them the game with 5:33 left. Thanks to the efforts of Dan Westfall, the Buccs escaped with a tie instead of a loss. Bradford’s Jeff Simpson attempted to give the Railroaders a 3-0 lead with a 33-yard kick, but Westfall managed to squeeze his way through the Bradford line and get his hand on the ball.
If there was any indication of how this game would go for the Buccs, the second offensive play spoke volumes. The Buccs fumbled inside their own territory, giving Bradford a golden opportunity.
The Railroaders failed to move the ball and were forced to punt, giving Covington the ball at their own 13.
Covington then marched down the field in rapid fashion. Once to the Bradford 6, Buccaneer quarterback Dave Tobias mishandled the snap and Bradford recovered to end the threat.
The Buccs had one more chance to put points on the board in the first half as they drove all the way to the Bradford 5. On fourth and three Covington tried some trickery, which backfired as Bradford’s defense snuffed out the play to again turn Covington away.
Trying to jumpstart his team, coach Tisdale elected to allow Joe Schmidt to enter the game. (Schmidt wasn’t expected to play due to a shoulder injury.) After a short gain, Schmidt fumbled on his second carry to end any momentum gained from his presence.
After Westfall’s block of Bradford’s field goal attempt, Covington had one more crack at putting some points on the board. The Buccs marched down the field with quick passes toward the sideline. After a key reception by Rick Schmidt, the Bradford defense stiffened. The Railroaders dropped Joe Schmidt for a loss and a screen pass and then sacked Dave Tobias to end the final Covington threat with 30 seconds to go.
As the clock ticked away with the scoreboard reading 0-0, the Bradford faithful cheered as though they won while the Covington supporters filed out quietly through the exits.