COVINGTON – The Covington Buccs had their hands full with a very tough and determined Bethel team but managed to regroup after a 7-0 lead at halftime to route Bethel 35-0. The early going was tough for both teams to get into the end zone as both defenses dominated the game. Bethel stopped Covington twice in the first half when the Buccs were knocking on the door inside the five. The third time was a charm for the Buccs as Josh Burelison punched it in from 2 yards out late in the second quarter.
The second half was all Covington. Burelison started off the second half scoring with a 2 yard run. Mike Cope broke the game open with a 31 yard touchdown before the third quarter ended.
The fourth quarter was more of the same. After a Bubby Bubeck interception, Boomer Schmidt pounded his way through a group of Bethel defenders for a 1 yard touchdown. Later in the fourth, Josh Burelison scored his third touchdown of the night with a 4 yard run.
For the night Covington racked up 393 total yards and the defense held the dangerous Bee’s offense to 106 yards and only 27 yards passing.
What can you say about the Covington Buccaneer defense. In eleven games they have held their opponents to only 49 points. Tonight, against Bethel, they didn’t let up one bit. Consider…the Buccs offense failed on a fourth and one inside their own 30-yard line early in the ballgame. The defense shut Bethel down in three plays leaving them with a futile attempt at a long field goal. The offense struggled getting the ball inside the goal line in the first half. Twice the Buccs had the ball inside the two and failed on fourth and goal. Each time, the Buccs’ defense stepped up to the plate and shut the Bee’s offense down.
Defensive Star, Mike Molesky
Dominating! That’s the only word to describe the Buccs defense tonight against Bethel. In the middle of the snake pit was Mike Molesky. He totally shut down the Bethel passing game.
Early in the game it way obvious that Bethel wanted to test Mike’s territory. He was more than up for the challenge. Bethel tried freeing a wide receiver up one on one with Molesky and failed. They tried swinging a back out of the backfield towards Molesky and failed. When they ran his way, if the defensive line or linebackers didn’t get to the ballcarrier first, there was Molesky. On a number of occasions, Molesky made crisp open field tackles which left the Bethel ballcarriers getting up slowly, shaking their heads in disgust.
As the night grew older, Bethel tried other approaches to get their receivers open which lead to other Buccaneers making big plays.
Offensive Star, Dusty Blythe
In the biggest game of his life to this point, Dusty Blythe handled the pressure like a veteran. Bethel’s defense clearly came out to stop the run. In the first half the Buccs had trouble getting the ball into the end zone with their balanced running game. Bethel stopped the Buccs twice inside the five yard line. Something had to change.
Coach Peacock put the ball into the hands of his Junior Quarterback, Dusty Blythe. Blythe began hitting his receivers with short, quick passes to spread out Bethel’s defense. Once the Bee’s realized they couldn’t keep eight or nine defenders in the box to stuff the run the Buccs were able to run the ball.
On the night Blythe completed an amazing 12 out of 15 passes for 136 yards. More importantly, he kept the Bee’s off balance and didn’t turn the ball over.
Covington Individual Statistics:
Rushing: Burelison 33/141, Cope 9/91, Schmidt 9/25
Passing: Blythe 12-15-0-136
Receiving: Schmidt 2/16, A. Hitt 2/33, Mohler 3/32, Shafer 3/22, Cope 1/12
Interceptions: Bubeck 1, Cope 1
Fumble Recoveries: M. Hitt 1
Scoring by Quarters:
Covington: 1st: 0, 2nd: 7, 3rd: 14, 4th: 14, Total: 35
Bethel: 1st: 0, 2nd: 0, 3rd: 0, 4th: 0, Total: 0