TIPP CITY – The Covington Buccaneers employed an aggressive, punishing defense coupled with a quick-hitting offense to overpower the Tipp City Red Devils 23-0 Friday night.
“I’m real disappointed with the way we played,” said Red Devil head coach Tim Hopkins. “Defensively their a doggone big football team,” said Hopkins. “Field position was the key to the ballgame. We started from our own eight-yard line and with a defense like that you can’t start in the hole every time.”
Hopkins’ analysis seemed accurate as the Red Devils failed to cross the 50-yard line in the first half and never made a serious attempt at crossing the goal line the entire game.
Tipp City had a quick indication of what was to come as the Buccs scored on their first possession of the game on a 30-yard field goal by Bill Besecker with 5:02 left in the first quarter. Later that same quarter the Red Devil’s standout running back and captain, Chris Gilliam, would leave the game with a rib injury.
Tipp City was forced to punt from their own 36 on their next possession and Covington wasted no time scoring. Running back Jim Stickley bolted 60-yards for the score. Besecker added the extra point. With :43 remaining in the first quarter Covington led 10-0.
The tough Bucc defense allowed two plays to take place on the next Red Devil drive before Ty Owens intercepted a Mike Baudendistal pass with 11:53 to go in the second quarter. After a pass interference call against Tipp, Covington got to the Tipp 13-yard line before Stickley fumbled and Tipp recovered.
Covington put the final first half points on the board with a 16-yard touchdown pass from Matt Pond to Stickley. Besecker missed the extra point to make the score 16-0.
When Tipp City took the next kickoff, Butch Boehringer swiped a Baudendistal pass on the first play of the series. Covington got to the Tipp 19-yard line before they lost it on downs. The first half came to an end after a Tipp fourth and 12 punt.
The second half saw several ball exchanges before Covington started a drive with left 2:22 in the third quarter. Covington scored its final touchdown on a Pond five-yard run. Besecker kicked the extra point to give Covington a 23-0 win.
The remainder of the game saw Tipp City trying to get a quick score by air.
“Everybody and their brother knew we had to throw the football,” said Hopkins. “We made some costly mistakes and poor field position took us out of the game. It was a physical game. Our kids got out there and mixed it up pretty well. Our defense didn’t play a bad game. We play four or five downs and then have a breakdown. With our schedule, we can’t afford that.”
Hopkins felt Covington threw the ball a little more than they expected, but stuck to their basic ground game very effectively.
“Anytime you can be predictable and still kick people’s tails, that’s what the game is all about,” he added.
“I wouldn’t say we overwhelmed them,” said Covington head coach Charlie Burgbacher. “They’re a good, hard-hitting football team. We have to be happy with the shutout. We have to be happy with the offensive line. They don’t get credit from week to week. This was a pivotal game for us. We have three on-the-road league games remaining. We knew Tipp was going to be ‘up’.”
When asked about the number of penalties that Covington incurred, Burgbacher said his team doesn’t practice anything that is not part of the game.
“We have some kids who just hit hard,” said Burgbacher.
Covington (5-0, 2-0) will host Mechanicsburg Friday, while Tipp City (3-2, 1-1) will travel to Versailles in a key Southwestern Rivers Conference battle.
COV: Bill Besecker 30-yd Field Goal
COV: Jim Stickley 80-yd run (Besecker Kick)
COV: Jim Stickley 16-yd pass from Matt Pond (Kick Failed)
COV: Matt Pond 5-yd run (Besecker Kick)
SCORE BY QUARTERS:
Covington: 10 6 0 7 = 23
Tipp City: 0 0 0 0 = 0