October 4, 2002 – COVINGTON
Remember the days when Covington football meant three yards and a cloud of dust? Power football and ball control was the name of the game.
That was then and this is now.
The Buccs still possess a powerful running game, but they have added a new twist to an already potent offense. The passing game has become more and more prominent in the Buccaneer offense this season and the result is a balanced offensive attack.
Covington used that balanced offense to dominate Bethel 35-3 for their 30th straight regular season victory. The Buccs recorded 209 yards rushing and 231 yards passing for 440 yards of total offense.
“That’s balance,” described coach Ted Peacock when referring to the statistics. “Our offense played very well tonight moving the ball. I’m not happy with how often we put the ball on the ground, but I’m happy that we came out with a big win. Bethel is a good football team and they will surprise some teams down the stretch.”
Matt McCord kick started the Buccaneer onslaught on the Buccs’ second possession of the game. McCord broke through the middle of the Bethel defense and outraced the secondary for a 49-yard touchdown. Matt Fulks kicked the extra point and the Buccs were up 7-0 early.
Bethel took the kickoff and methodically moved down the field until the Buccaneer defense stiffened inside the 20. The Bees kicked a 29-yard field goal to cut the lead to 7-3 at the end of the first quarter.
On Bethel’s next possession, Covington gave the Bees new life on another field goal attempt. The Buccs were called for a roughing penalty which set the Bees up inside the Covington ten. With a chance to take the lead and the momentum, the Bees turned the ball right back over to the Buccs as Mykal McEldowney intercepted Brett Kopp’s pass and returned the ball to midfield.
The Buccs went three and out and again Bethel had a chance to take the lead. The Bees took over at their own 10-yard line after a Covington punt, but again they were turned away by a turnover. Covington’s Dan Morrow broke through the Bees’ line and forced a fumble which Jesse Hitt scooped up at the Bethel ten. Hitt then punched the ball in from the one to give the Buccs a 14-3 lead.
“Our defense played very well tonight,” complemented coach Peacock. “We had some critical defensive stands that turned the game in our favor.”
On Bethel’s next possession Jordan Shafer stepped in front of another Kopp pass and suddenly Covington was looking to break the game open. A few plays later Brady Reck hit Shafer deep in the end zone for a 15-yard touchdown pass to put the Buccs up 21-3.
With the momentum on their side the Buccs struck again before halftime. Reck connected with Shafer again on a 47-yard touchdown down the right sideline. Shafer got behind the Bees’ secondary and hauled in a perfect strike from Reck to put the Buccs up 28-3 with 39 seconds to go in the half.
Mohler then put the finishing touches on a Buccaneer win with a 27-yard touchdown reception from Reck to put the Buccs up 35-3 after three quarters of play.
With the game well in hand the Buccs turned things over to their dominating defense. Bethel was able to move the ball inside Covington territory on a couple of occasions, but each time the Bucc defense responded. Ross Mohler recorded two interceptions, one late in the game with the Bees knocking on the door inside the Covington ten.
Matt McCord led the Buccs with 131 yards on 10 carries while Jordan Shafer hauled in 106 receiving yards on 6 receptions. Brady Reck responded with his second straight 200-yard performance by completing 17 out of 24 passes for 231 yards and 3 touchdowns.
“Matt McCord has really played well for us,” said coach Peacock. “We moved him to running back because of injuries and he is really running hard. We also moved him to middle linebacker on defense and he has played very well there as well. With the way Bethel runs the ball up the middle we felt we needed a bigger body at that position and Matt fits the bill. Matt’s a very coachable kid and he’s such a student of the game. This is his first year with us and he picks things up very quickly.”
The Buccs improve to 7-0 on the season and 6-0 in the CCC. Bethel falls to 2-5 on the season and 2-4 in the conference.
Next the Buccs travel to longtime rival, Bradford in another CCC battle.
Scoring by Quarters:
Buccs: …..7……21……7……0 – 35
Bethel: ….3……..0……..0….0 – 3
Covington – Matt McCord 49-yard run (Matt Fulks Kick) – 7-0
Bethel – 29-yrd field goal – 7-3
Covington – Jesse Hitt 1-yard run (Fulks Kick) – 14-3
Covington – Jordan Shafer 15-yard pass from Brady Reck (Fulks Kick) – 21-3
Covington – Shafer 47-yard pass from Reck (Fulks Kick) – 28-3
Covington – Ross Mohler 27-yard pass from Reck – (Fulks Kick) – 35-3
First Downs – 13
Rushing – 209
Passing – 231
Total Yrds – 440
Total Plays – 65
Fumbles – 4-3
Penalties – 3-48
Matt McCord – 10-131-1td-49long
Jesse Hitt – 21-68-1td-11long
Brady Reck – 6-6-0td-7long
Kevin Wright – 1-4-0td-4long
Brady Reck – 24-17-231-3td-0int-49long
Jordan Shafer – 5-106-2td-47long
Ross Mohler – 4-70-1td-34long
Dusty Rhoades – 4-32-0td-13long
Jesse Hitt – 2-19-0td-11long
Matt McCord – 2-4-0td-5long
First Downs – 7
Rushing – 123
Passing – 84
Total Yrds – 207
Total Plays – 55
Fumbles – 4-2
Penalties – 1-15
Ian Lange – 18-104-0td-40long
Tony Fortunato – 9-28-0td-13long
Kevin Shoup – 2-4-0td-4long
Brett Kopp – 7–6-0td-2long
Mike Coker – 2–7-0td-0long
Brett Kopp – 16-5-79-0td-3int-25long
Kevin Shoup – 1-1-5-0td-0int-5long
Dave McFarland – 2-36-0td-23long
Mike Coker – 2-30-0td-25long
Kevin Shoup – 1-13-0td-13long
Ian Lange – 1-5-0td-5long