November 1, 2002 – COVINGTON
This is the toughest time for the nine seniors who have put everything they’ve had to reach a goal. Coming into the season, the goal for each one of the seniors was to get a crack at a state championship. No, they never made any bold predictions or gloated that they are the team to beat. They just busted their tails and did everything they could to make that goal a possibility.
Unfortunately, that goal never materialized as the Buccs fell 20-16 in a shocking upset to Troy Christian in front of the hometown fans.
Although the loss is devastating and one that hurts, time heals all wounds. When these players look back on what they’ve accomplished the past four years, they will realize what they’ve meant to Covington football and the town of Covington.
A regular season record of 39-1, four straight playoff appearances and three straight 10-0 seasons are achievements that can never be taken away. There will be people on message boards and chatrooms who will criticize what the Buccs have done and their achievements without never walking in their shoes or even seeing them play. That’s OK because the kids know, the coaches know, their parents know and their supporters know that they have done some things that may never be done again.
One loss doesn’t diminish what these kids have done over a four year career together. They can hold their heads high and be proud to tell their children and grandchildren that they were one of the best group of kids to ever walk the halls of Covington High School.
Early on, it appeared as if the Buccs were going to have their way with Troy Christian. The Buccs took their opening drive and marched down to the Eagle 27. The drive bogged down due to a stiff Troy Christian defense and the Buccs turned the ball over on downs.
The Buccs struck pay dirt on their next drive, however. The big play was a Boomer Schmidt 34-yard run that set the Buccs up with first and goal inside the one. Boomer finished off the drive with a 1-yard dive that gave the Buccs a 7-0 lead after one quarter of play.
After a scoreless second quarter, Troy Christian got themselves back into the game on a 42-yard touchdown run in the third. They failed on the extra point to make the score 7-6 in Covington’s favor after three periods.
“I felt confident that we would take control in the fourth,” commented coach Peacock. “We moved the ball well, but just wasn’t able to come away with points. I figured we were wearing them down and would come out on top in the fourth.”
Coach Peacock appeared to be right as the Buccs again struck gold. Boomer Schmidt darted his way for a 16-yard touchdown which gave the Buccs a 14-6 lead and the momentum with 9:48 left in the game.
The Eagles fought back, however, and scored on a 7-yard touchdown pass that cut the Buccs’ lead to 14-12. The two-point conversion failed giving the Buccs control of the ball with 6:11 left in the game.
The Buccs fumbled a few plays later and Troy Christian recovered the ball in excellent field position at Covington’s 27. The next play the Eagles took a 18-14 lead on a 27-yard touchdown pass. They then converted the two-point conversion to increase their lead to 20-14 with 5:58 to go.
Covington returned the kickoff to midfield to start a potential game-winning drive. The Buccs ate up over four minutes of the clock as they drove to the Troy Christian 4-yard line with first and goal. Four straight running plays later, the Buccs remained a half-yard short of the end zone, giving Troy Christian the ball with 1:53 left in the game.
After a few plays to get breathing room, the Eagles elected to accept a safety to make the score 20-16 with 1:24 to go.
The Buccs again had a chance for a come-from-behind win as they took the ball at the 50-yard line. Four straight incomplete passes later and Troy Christian was celebrating a 20-16 victory.
“They are a good football team,” described coach Peacock. “They were probably the fastest team we’ve faced this year, but we had our chances to win it. We struggled a little bit defensively. I take my hat off to them, they came to play.”
After the game, both teams congratulated each other and represented themselves with class. Many Troy Christian players complemented the Buccs on how good they are and what it meant to play them.
The Buccaneer seniors who have made the past four season so memorable will be missed greatly. Boomer, Jordan, Mutt, Mykal, Dusty, Jon, Jesse, David and Matt have left behind a legacy of winning and added to the tradition of Covington football.
THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES!!!
Scoring by Quarters:
Buccs: …..7……0……0……9 – 16
Eagles: …0…….0……6….14 – 20
Covington – Boomer Schmidt 1-yard run (Matt Fulks Kick) – 7-0
Troy Christian – Jimmy Keller 42-yard run (kick failed) – 7-6
Covington – Schmidt 16-yard run (Fulks Kick) – 14-6
Troy Christian – Keller 7-yard run (2-point conversion failed) 14-12
Troy Christian – Jordan Wright 27-yard pass from Jonathan Toal (2-point conversion good) 14-20
Covington – Safety – Dusty Hess sacked Toal in end zone 16-20
First Downs – 17
Rushing – 169
Passing – 107
Total Yrds – 276
Fumbles – 2-2
Boomer Schmidt – 24-125-2td-34long
Jesse Hitt – 9-27-0td
Brady Reck – 6-17-0td
Brady Reck – 24-11-107-0td-0int
Jordan Shafer – 5-43-0td
Ross Mohler – 4-46-0td
Matt McCord – 1-22-0td
Boomer Schmidt – 1-7-0td
TROY CHRISTIAN STATS:
First Downs – 12
Rushing – 227
Passing – 63
Total Yrds – 290
Fumbles – 1-1
Jimmy Keller – 14-130-2td-42long
Justin Jones – 11-66-0td
Andrew Lightfoot – 5-25-0td
Jonathan Toal – 14-7-63-1td
Jordan Wright – 5-55-0td
Jimmy Keller – 2-8-0td