Friday, August 31, 2001 – COVINGTON
Every successful team the Covington Buccaneers have had throughout the years has been led by a dominating defense. Players that fly to the ball and make solid hits that can be heard from the top row of the bleachers are what the Bucc Defense is known for. That is what Twin Valley South faced tonight while dressing only 17 players.
Dusty Hess was the ringleader for the defense as he recorded two sacks and was consistently camping out in the backfield. The Panthers threw everything at the Buccs tonight, early and often. On numerous occasions, South tried the halfback pass to throw the Buccs off guard. It work for the first half as the Buccs went into the locker room with a 14-6 lead.
As the defense continued to dominate, the offense started to click in the second half. Sparked by some South turnovers on special teams, the Buccs racked up 27 points in the second half including 7 from the reserves. Josh Burelison started things off on the Buccs first drive of the second half with a 3 yard touchdown to give the Buccs a 20-6 lead. After their second drive stalled, Clint Mohler hauled in a long pass from Dusty Blythe to get the Buccs to the 5. Burelison again reached the end zone to put the Buccs up 27-6. On the Buccs final drive in the third quarter, Jordan Shafer hauled in a Blythe pass over the middle to put the Buccs up 34-6. The Buccs final points of the night were scored by Jesse Hitt.
The big loss for the Buccs was a knee injury to Mutt Reck. Mutt injured his knee late in the game on what appeared to be a routine running play. The South defender got his shoulders lower than Mutt’s, however and the result was a direct hit to the knee.
Special Teams Spark Buccs
The Buccaneer’s special teams was just that tonight for the Buccs, special. On numerous occasions, South returners were rattled by Buccaneer players.
The Bucc’s special teams was kamikaze, sacrificing their bodies at full speed to make the play. Led by T.J. Warner, who probably had the hardest hit of the night, the Buccs kick coverage kept the Panthers pinned inside their own 30 most of the night.
Along with big hits, T.J. Warner also forced a fumble which Jesse Hitt fell on to give the Buccs great field position in the second half. Hitt always seams to be around the ball. Last week against East he recovered a kick that appeared to be rolling out of bounds. As the Buccs did last week, they took advantage of their opponents miscue by putting points on the board.
A Season Cut Short…
Mutt Reck was well on his way to capturing many post season honors as one of the top defensive players in the area. He was clearly having a dominating season until a freakish knee injury late in the game more than likely ended his season. Hopefully it isn’t as bad as it looked.
In less than two games he recorded 13 tackles, 8 solo and 2 for a loss. He also grabbed 2 interceptions, 1 for a touchdown.
The loss of Mutt will be difficult for the Buccs to overcome. Coach Peacock will have to do some shuffling around to find a way to fill his shoes or at least minimize his loss. The Buccs don’t have the luxury of choosing from 60 players like many larger schools so an underclassman may have to be thrown into the fire and learn on the job.
Let’s just hope Mutt has a full recovery and can return next season to pick up where he left off.