August 27, 2004 – Covington
The Covington Buccaneers opened the 2004 season against Miami East with questions about their youth and inexperience. Those questions were answered in grand fashion as the Buccs dominated the Vikings 41-6 at Covington’s Smith Field.
“I’m very pleased with the maturity the young kids showed tonight,” said a delighted Covington coach, Kevin Finfrock. “I’m also pleased with the leadership of the upper classmen. This was a nice way to start the season.”
The early going wasn’t what the young Buccs had in mind, however. After receiving the opening kickoff, sophomore running back Gene Studebaker fumbled on the fourth play from scrimmage. Miami East recovered and took over in excellent field position at mid-field.
The Buccaneer defense held, forcing the Vikings to punt. Studebaker made amends for his fumble by returning the punt 74 yards for the score to put Covington up 6-0. Matt Fulks connected on the extra point and Covington held a 7-0 lead with 3:00 to go in the first quarter.
Studebaker would strike again moments into the second stanza. After two first down runs by fullback Nick Christian, Studebaker ran it in from 12 yards out with just one minute gone in the quarter. Fulks again connected on the extra point to make the score 14-0 in favor of Covington.
The Buccs recorded their third touchdown with 3:00 to go in the half. Again, it was the running of Gene Studebaker that hit pay dirt. The 6-2, 195 lb. sophomore plowed his way in from the 8-yard line to give Covington a commanding 21-0 lead.
After a long kick-off by Fulks pinned Miami East deep in their own territory, the Buccaneer defense held the Vikings on three straight downs. Miami East was forced to punt, giving Covington another shot at putting more points on the board before the half.
Studebaker then broke loose for a 92-yard touchdown run as he weaved his way through the Viking defense. Unfortunately for the Buccs, the play was nullified due to a block in the back, which kept the score 21-0 at the half.
After holding the Vikings on their opening possession of the second half, Covington struck again. Studebaker rambled 19 yards for his fourth touchdown of the night and increased the Buccaneer’ lead to 28-0 with 7:00 to go in the third.
Things got even worse for Miami East on their next possession. Covington sophomore defensive back, Seth Mohler, stepped in front of a Jeremy Starry pass and returned the interception to the Viking 29.
Moments later, Mohler kept the ball on a quarterback keeper and scrambled 18 yards for the score…running over three Viking defenders at the goal line. Fulks connected on his fifth straight attempt to give Covington a 35-0 lead after three periods of play.
The Covington coaching staff turned the game over to the second unit in the final stanza and the results remained the same.
Behind the solid running of Jordy Burelison, Corey Patty and Matt Varno, the Buccs moved the ball at will. Freshman quarterback, Bill Dickey, squirted his way around the right side of the Viking defense for his first high school touchdown from 6 yards away. Tyler Kanet’s kick was blocked making the score 41-0 in favor of the Buccs.
Looking to prevent the shutout, the Vikings’ second unit moved the ball quickly down the field on their final possession. With 26 seconds left in the contest, freshman scatback Houston Walker scampered into the end zone from 12 yards out. The extra point attempt failed making the final score 41-6 for Covington.
“I’m very satisfied with the second unit,” complemented coach Finfrock. “We tell the guys all of the time how important they are to this team. They give us good looks in practice and it also prepares them for when they get their opportunity on Friday nights. They performed very well tonight.”
Studebaker lead the Buccs with 141 yards rushing on 18 carries and scored 4 times. Seth Mohler passed for 84 yards and completed 4 of 6 passes in his first varsity start.
Covington racked up 410 yards of total offense, 326 coming on the ground. Miami East accumulated 118 yards of total offense with 111 on the ground.
Covington (1-0) hosts Anna (0-1) next Friday at Smith Field.
Scoring by Quarters:
Buccs: …..7……14…..14…….6 – 41
Vikings: …0…….0……0……..6 – 6