August 22, 2003 – CASSTOWN
Although the Covington Buccaneers came into tonight’s opening night of the 2003 season riding a 34-game regular season winning streak, they had some questions regarding youth. Namely, the three sophomore offensive lineman, Logan Brown, CJ Potter and Brian Ely.
Luckily for the Buccs, all three performed at a high level, which led to a 34-0 victory and the beginning of the Kevin Finfrock era.
“I’m so pleased with the way our young players stepped up tonight,” praised a delighted Covington coach, Kevin Finfrock after his first win as Buccs’ coach. “Logan Brown, Brian Ely and CJ Potter grew up a lot tonight. They took on the bigger players from Miami East and performed very well. Also, another sophomore, Nick Christian played well in the secondary. Logan played well at linebacker too. He was all over the field tonight. I’m very pleased with these guys.”
To add to the growing process of the Covington youth, the Buccaneer’ seniors had plenty of impact as well. Matt McCord, the 6’3″, 194 lb. running back rushed for 127 yards on 24 carries and reached the end zone 4 times in his first game as the Buccs’ featured back. McCord also broke loose for an 80-yard kickoff return to open the game, which set the Buccs up at the Miami East 10-yard line and the first score of the game. It was a performance symbolic of past Covington backs, which they’ve had plenty of over the past few years.
“Matt McCord ran very hard for us,” continued Finfrock. “The opening kickoff set the tone for the game. He was very physical running the ball. I can’t remember one time where he went down on the first hit. He kept his legs driving and got every yard he could possibly get.”
After McCord scored from the 1 on their opening drive, Brady Reck connected with Jared Hague for a 38-yard scoring strike midway through the first period to give Covington a 14-0 lead. On the play, Hague snuck behind the linebacker from the tight end position and Reck delivered the ball in stride. Hague outran the rest of the defense for his first varsity touchdown of his career.
On the Buccs next drive, McCord weaved his way from 16 yards out for his second touchdown of the night. Matt Fulks kicked the extra point and Covington suddenly held a commanding 21-0 lead.
McCord struck again before halftime, this time from 10 yards away. Behind a key block from Brian Ely, McCord bounced to the outside and fought throw two Viking defenders to squeeze his way into the end zone.
As Covington rolled up the yardage on the ground, the Viking defense managed to contain their high powered passing attack. Despite the 38-yard touchdown pass from Reck to Hague, Miami East managed to hold Covington to 86 yards through the air.
“I’m not pleased with our execution in our passing game,” commented coach Finfrock. “Miami East scouted us very well, but we had way too many dropped passes and misreads. We have to get that corrected by next week.”
Despite the lackluster Covington passing game, the Buccaneer defense never allowed the Vikings to get anything going offensively themselves. Miami East managed only 69 yards of total offense on the night and committed 4 turnovers, much as a result of the Buccaneer defense.
“Defensively we really played well,” continued Finfrock. “As I mentioned before, Logan Brown was all over the field. He pursued to the ball very well and even came up with an interception. Mike Varno also played well. He made some big time plays in the backfield for us. Our run defense was solid as well. All around, our defense played as well as you can expect.”
With the Buccaneer defense controlling the game, Matt McCord added his fourth touchdown midway through the third period. This time, the Buccs had difficulty getting the ball into the end zone as East held the line on three straight plays with their backs against the wall. On fourth down McCord split his way between two Viking defenders to stretch the ball into the end zone and give the Buccs a 34-0 lead.
With the win Covington sets the stage for a critical conference showdown with Anna next week. Both teams enter next week’s game at 1-0 after Anna defeated New Bremen by the score of 18-16. The magnitude of this game is something coach Finfrock is well aware of.
“We have a tough game next week at Anna,” concluded the coach. “Anna is physical and very balanced on offense. We have to be at our best next week because they will be coming after us. I expect our kids to pick it up another notch. We’ll work on correcting the mistakes we made this week and get prepared for Anna. This is a big win against Miami East, but now that we have this one under our belts, we need to focus on getting better for next week.”
In the meantime, enjoy win number one coach.
Scoring by Quarters:
Buccs: …..21……6……7…….0 – 34
Vikings: …0…….0……0……..0 – 0
First Downs – 11
Rushing – 167
Passing – 86
Total Yrds – 253
Total Plays – 61
Fumbles – 1-1
Matt McCord – 24-127-4td-34long
Ben Adams – 7-20-0td-9long
Nick Christian – 3-15-0td-7long
Corey patty – 3-6-otd-4long
Seth Mohler – 1-6-otd-6long
Justin Mahan – 1-1-0td-1long
Brady Reck – 4–-8-0td-1long
Brady Reck – 18-6-86-1td-1int-38long
Matt McCord – 2-24-0td-14long
Ross Mohler – 2-15-0td-9long
Dusty Rhoades – 1-9-0td-9long
Jared Hague – 1-38-1td-38long