November 1, 2003 – COVINGTON
The Covington Buccaneers had bigger and better plans for this year’s post season, but unfortunately they were dashed by the Marion Local Flyers tonight at Covington’s Smith Field.
After finishing with their fourth straight 10-0 regular season, the Buccs earned the top seed in region 24. They were still bitter over last year’s shocking 20-16 loss to Troy Christian in the first round and looking to make good on their first playoff game of 2003.
Marion Local, on the other hand, finished at 7-3 in the tough MAC conference and came into tonight’s game as the number 8 seed. They also had a recent history of playoff success with 2 state titles in the past three years.
It was supposed to be the perfect scenario for the Buccs…beat a well respected opponent and gain even more momentum for a deeper run into the playoffs. Unfortunately, it never materialized the way the Buccs had hoped.
Marion Local took control of the game with 21 second quarter points and cruised to a 35-8 win.
“They are a darn good football team,” complemented coach Finfrock. “We came ready to play, but they just broke us down by playing more physical than us. We just didn’t execute the way we needed to win this game.”
Early on it appeared as though it was going to be a defensive struggle. After Marion Local held the Buccs on the first possession of the game, the Flyers drove to the Buccaneer’ 20-yard line.
Covington’s defense stiffened, however, and turned Marion Local away.
Neither team could get much going offensively in the first quarter and the score remained deadlocked at 0-0 to begin the second.
The Flyers found a soft spot in the Buccaneer’ defense on their first drive of the second period. By running the ball up the middle the Flyers began to wear down the Buccaneer defense.
Marion Local moved the ball methodically down the field and punched it in from the 1 to make the score 7-0 with 9:52 left in the half.
After Covington’s next drive stalled, Marion Local again reached pay dirt. With 4:58 showing on the scoreboard, Marion Local increased their lead to 14-0 with a 5-yard run.
The Flyers scored again before the half on a 42-yard pass to give them a commanding 21-0 lead with 2:30 left in the half.
The Buccs had a golden opportunity to cut into the Flyer’s lead right before the half. Starting at their own 20, Covington moved down the field quickly and had a first down inside the Flyer’s 20-yard line.
After a short run by Matt McCord, three straight passes fell incomplete, ending the Buccaneer’ scoring threat and sending the teams into the half with the score 21-0.
Marion Local pretty much put the game away on their opening drive of the second half. After a good return to begin the drive, the Flyers pounded the ball down to the Buccaneer’ 4-yard line. With first and goal, Marion Local went to the air to increase their lead to 28-0.
For good measure, the Flyers scored again midway through the third. This time Marion Local used a short screen pass to go 30 yards for a 35-0 lead.
Playing for pride, the Buccs reached the end zone early in the fourth quarter. Brady Reck connected with Ross Mohler from 15 yards out and then again on the 2-point conversion to make the final score 35-8.
“I’m very proud of these kids,” said coach Finfrock. “These seniors did something that has never been done before (in going 40-0). This loss doesn’t erase what they’ve accomplished together. Together is the key word. They’ve played together, as a team, for one another, and accomplished something they will remember for the rest of their lives. I’m very proud of the effort these kids have given to this program.”
The Buccs end their memorable 2003 season at 10-1 for the second straight season. The seniors leave behind a legacy that may someday be matched, but can never be broken in going 40-0 in four years. They also pass on the torch to the younger kids.
Congratulations to the 2003 seniors and thanks for the memories.
Scoring by Quarters:
Buccs: …….0……0…..0…….8 – 8
Flyers: …….0….21….14……0 – 35
Marion Local – 1-yd run (kick good)
Marion Local – 5-yd run (kick good)
Marion Local – 42-yd pass (kick good)
Marion Local – 4-yd pass (kick good)
Marion Local – 30-yd pass (kick good)
Covington – Brady Reck 15-yd pass to Ross Mohler (Reck to Mohler)
First Downs – 10
Rushing – 51
Passing – 130
Total Yrds – 181
Total Plays – 49
Fumbles – 0-0
Matt McCord – 13-47-0td
Gene Studebaker – 2-4-0td
Brady Reck – 13-34-130-1td-3int
Ross Mohler – 9-95-1td
Jared Hague – 2-13-0td
Matt McCord – 2-22-0td
MARION LOCAL STATS:
First Downs – 15
Rushing – 257
Passing – 94
Total Yrds – 351
Total Plays – 66
Fumbles – 0-0