Saturday, November 3, 2001 – COVINGTON
The Williamsburg Wildcats came to town and brought with them the state’s all-time leading rusher in Jason Bainum. The Buccs brought with them a dominating defense and a balanced offensive attack. The result was exactly what the Buccs ordered and the so-called experts didn’t expect.
Covington totally dominated Bainum and company by holding them to 124 rushing yards and for a convincing 47-14 victory. The score could have actually been a shutout if Williamsburg would have pulled their starters when the Buccs did late in the third quarter.
The Buccs jumped all over the Wildcats early and often. On their first drive of the game the Buccs marched down the field and scored on a Dusty Blythe pass to Clint Mohler. After stuffing Williamsburg on their first possession, the Buccs scored again on a Josh Burelison run to go up 14-0. Bainum fumbled on the ensuing kickoff and the Buccs were back in business. Alex Hague hauled in another Blythe pass which put the Buccs up 20-0. Blythe took matters into his own hands on the Buccs’ next drive on a long run to make the score 27-0. By half-time, the Buccs increased their lead to 34-0 on a Mike Molesky run.
The Buccs continued their dominance in the second half with another Josh Burelison run to make the score 40-0. Blythe again broke loose to put the Buccs up 47-0 and the Buccs’ coaching staff pulled the starters. Williamsburg scored twice in the fourth as the Buccs played their second team. They actually had a chance to score again but the Buccs put in the starting defense to shut down the Wildcats inside the 10 to preserve the 47-14 win.
Jason Bainum is a great football player. Anyone who runs for as many yards as he has throughout his career deserves all of the props he gets. He deserves to be published in Sports Illustrated for his accomplishments. The yards he has gained the past few years is amazing and he should be commended.
BUT, he has never faced a defense that pursues as a group as well a Buccaneer defense. He has never faced a defense with team speed like the Buccaneer defense. Tonight, he faced that defense in the Covington Buccaneers who received little credit for their accomplishments.
The Williamsburg Wildcats had Bainum running out of the shotgun formation most of the night. They tried swinging him outside. They tried pounding him up the middle. On virtually every play a group of Buccaneer defenders were there to close the hole and put a solid hit on the Wildcat superstar. Bainum never got going until the Buccs put 47 points on the board and pulled their starters in favor of the second team. Even then, Bainum found the going rough. He did manage to lead the Wildcats on two scoring drives but he was benefited by two Buccaneer miscues deep in their own territory.
A series that symbolizes the Buccs’ dominance on defense came late in the fourth quarter. The Buccs’ second team mishandled a snap that the Wildcats recovered deep inside the Buccs’ 15-yard line. The Buccs put in their starting defense to shut things down. Four straight plays the Wildcats used Bainum to try to put the ball in the end zone. Four straight plays, the Buccs shut him down. The Buccs took over the ball and ran out the clock.
The Buccs 47-14 win over Williamsburg was their last home game of the season and for 7 seniors, it was the last time they will play on Smith Field. All 7 players left it all on the field, all except their memories.
Josh Burelison, Dusty Blythe, Mike Molesky, Alex Hague, Clint Mohler, B.J. Owens and Mike Stephan walked off of the field unbeaten at home the past two season. The last time the Buccs lost on Smith Field was in 1999 to Ansonia in the first round of the playoffs. At the time, only Josh Burelison saw significant playing time. With the majority of these 7 players in the starting lineup, the Buccs have never lost a game at home.
The Center of Attention…
You could tell by the first series for the Buccs that Dusty Blythe was in the zone and was in for a big night. He completed 4 out of 5 passes on the first drive and completed his masterpiece with a touchdown pass to Clint Mohler.
On the Buccs’ second drive of the game, Blythe connected with Jordan Shafer over the middle for a long gain that set up a Josh Burelison touchdown run. He then connected with Alex Hague for his second touchdown pass to put the Buccs up 20-0 before the Wildcats’ offense touched the ball for a second time.
Blythe, who accounted for 302 of the Buccs’ 499 yards of offense, not only threw the ball with accuracy and for big plays, he also showed another dimension to his game that will make future opponents take noticed. Blythe used his legs to put the game out of reach of the Wildcats. Late in the second quarter, Blythe scored on a quarterback keeper that put the Buccs up 34-0 at the half. On the play, Dusty broke two tackles at the line of scrimmage and weaved his way for his first rushing touchdown of his high school career.
Having a taste of the end zone once wasn’t enough for Blythe as he broke loose again in the second half. Again, he called his own number and again broke a few tackles on his way for another score.