October 10, 2003 – BRANDT
Perhaps the best defense against Matt McCord is not getting him mad. Just ask the Bethel Bees after McCord racked up 286 yards and scored four times to lead the Buccs to a 48-14 win.
The reason for McCord’s bad mood was a Bethel 85-yard kickoff return on the opening kickoff of the second half to cut the Buccaneer’ lead to 21-14.
“That really made me mad,” said McCord of the play. “We were not playing well up to that point and someone needed to step up and make some plays. I figured it may as well be me. I just ran as hard as I could every time I got the ball.”
McCord took over the game on the Buccs’ next possession. With the Buccs perched at the Bethel 47-yard line, McCord broke three tackles on his way to his fourth touchdown of the night to give Covington a 28-14 lead and the momentum they needed to put the game away.
“Matt really ran well tonight,” commented Covington coach Kevin Finfrock. “He had most of his yards after the first hit. He ran the ball possessed tonight.”
Early on it appeared as if Covington was going to have an easy night as they marched down the field on their opening possession. McCord ended the drive with a 2-yard touchdown run and Covington led 7-0 only 1:49 into the game.
McCord struck again with 42 seconds to go in the first. This time McCord broke free down the left sideline on a 69-yard run to give Covington a 14-0 lead. He then put the Buccs up 21-0 on a 6-yard run to begin the second quarter.
Things began to unravel for the Buccs with 1:35 left in the first half. Bethel’s Cooper Smith stepped in front of a Brady Reck pass intended for Ross Mohler and raced down the sideline untouched for the score.
Trailing 21-7 to start the second half, Bethel put themselves right back into the game on the opening kickoff. Derek Goins weaved his way through the first wave of Covington defenders and turned on a burst of speed to get into the endzone for an 84-yard touchdown return.
“We were playing timid throughout the first half,” said Finfrock. “That return sort of lit a fire under us. We were a totally different team after that.”
After McCord took the momentum back in the Buccs’ favor, Brady Reck and Ross Mohler began hooking up. Reck found Mohler for two of the Buccs’ final three scores of the night. Their first scoring connection was from 24 yards out and the second came from 20 yards away. The other Buccaneer score came on a 2-yard run by Gene Studebaker.
Defensively, the Buccs held Bethel to 123 yards of total offense and recorded an interception by Logan Brown.
“Again, I’m very pleased with our defense,” concluded coach Finfrock. “We held them in check all night, but I do take my hat off to the Bethel kids. They really came to play tonight. This was a very physical game and one we will feel some bumps and bruises.”
The physical play of the young Bethel team also made an impression on McCord.
“They hit pretty hard,” said McCord with a slight chuckle. “I’m pretty sore now and I’m not looking forward to tomorrow.”
Tomorrow at least he’ll be in a better mood.
Covington improves to 8-0 on the season and 7-0 in the CCC. They host Bradford next Friday as they honor the 1973 state championship team.
Scoring by Quarters:
Buccs: ………14…..7…..20…….7 – 48
Bethel: ……..0…….7…..7……..0 – 14
Covington – Matt McCord 2-yd run (Matt Fulks kick)
Covington – McCord 69-yd run (Fulks kick)
Covington – McCord 6yd run (Fulks kick)
Bethel – Cooper Smith 41-yd Interecption (kick good)
Bethel – Derek Goins 84-yd Kickoff Return (kick good)
Covington – McCord 47-yd run (Fulks kick)
Covington – Gene Studebaker 2-yd run (Kick blocked)
Covington – Brady Reck 24-yd pass to Ross Mohler (Fulks kick)
Covington – Reck 20-yd pass to Mohler (Fulks kick)
First Downs – 19
Rushing – 324
Passing – 187
Total – 511
Total Plays – 63
Fumbles – 0-0
Penalties – 5-60
Matt McCord – 24-286-4td
Seth Mohler – 4-20-0td
Nick Christian – 2-6-otd
Corey Patty – 3-6-0td
Gene Studebaker – 2-5-1td
Brady Reck – 1-1-0td
Ben Adams – 3-0-0td
Brady Reck – 11-24-187-2td-1int
Ross Mohler – 5-91-2td
Dusty Rhoades – 3-37-0td
Jared Hague – 2-56-0td
Matt McCord 1-3-0td
First Downs – 6
Rushing – 112
Passing – 11
Total – 123
Total Plays – 48
Fumbles – 1-0
Penalties – 3-25
Ian Lange – 12-56-0td
Derek Goins – 16-40-0td
Cooper Smith – 4-14-0td
Clayton Smith – 5-9-0td
Tony Phillips – 3–7-0td
Tony Phillips – 1-8-11-0td-1int
Clayton Strunk – 1-11-0td