October 22, 2004 – Bradford
The echos from horns blowing in Bradford can still be heard after the Railroaders defeated long-time rival Covington 14-7 Friday night. It marked the first time since 1994 that the Railroaders have beaten the Buccs.
“This is the biggest win we could have this season,” said a delighted Bradford coach, Jason Brewer. “This is so great for the kids and the community. It’s also huge for our program because people will start believing now. To beat Covington is really big for us.”
The loss for Covington extends its current losing streak to four games, a first since 1991.
“We played hard and so did they,” said Covington coach, Kevin Finfrock. “But, they executed and we didn’t. We turned the ball over and they didn’t. That was the difference in the game.”
Turnovers were the key as Covington fumbled six times, losing five. Three of those fumbles came deep in Bradford territory, killing potential scoring opportunities.
The Railroader defense bent, but they didn’t break. Covington drove the ball to the Bradford 22, the 5 and then the 10, but came away without points in those drives. Each time, the Railroader defense stepped up and made plays to turn Covington away.
After a scoreless first half, Covington got on the scoreboard first. Junior fullback turned halfback, Nick Christian, broke around right end on a pass from Mohler and tight-roped the sideline for a 23-yard touchdown run. The play was a special one for the Buccs as honorary coach, Dennis “Scooby” Willoughby called the play.
Matt Fulks then kicked the extra point and the Buccs held a 7-0 lead, which would hold up until the early moments of the fourth quarter.
Beginning at its own 35, Bradford drove deep into Covington territory. Faced with a third-and-nine, the Railroaders applied a little trickery to tie the score. Halfback Emmanual Hill took the pitchout from quarterback, Jordan Hackett and fired a perfect 18-yard strike to Daniel Miller for the touchdown.
After a motion penalty, Bradford connected on the point-after to tie the score at 7-7.
After holding Covington to three-and-out on its next drive, Bradford put together the game-winning drive.
Beginning at their own 40, the Railroaders moved the ball across midfield. Faced with a fourth-and-one, the Railroaders elected to try for a first down from the Covington 30. Emmanual Hill broke through the line of scrimmage and out-raced the Covington defense to the end zone. The extra point attempt was good and Bradford held a 14-7 lead with 5:13 left in the game.
Covington wasn’t through, however. The Buccs moved the ball down the field with a mixture of runs and short passes.
After a third down connection from quarterback, Seth Mohler to tight end, Drew Craft netted 25 yards, the Buccs were suddenly in scoring position with 2:15 left in the game.
On the next play, Mohler broke loose around right end on a keeper, but the ball was popped loose at the 5-yard line, where Bradford recovered.
Looking to put the game away, Bradford couldn’t gain a first down. Covington’s defense held on three straight plays, forcing Bradford to punt.
With the ball back, Covington again moved deep into Bradford territory with first-and-goal at the 10-yard line and two timeouts.
Covington attempted to pass on the first three play, but each time Buccaneer’ receivers failed to make the catch. Faced with fourth-and-goal at the ten, Covington called a timeout to select the ideal play that would put them in position to tie up the game.
With a packed house on the edge of their seats, Mohler dropped back to pass, but the Bradford pass rush forced him to try and run his way into the end zone. Bradford’s swarming defense tracked down Mohler and stopped him at the four to take the ball over on downs with 1:01 left in the game.
Bradford, with victory well in hand, elected to run out the clock.
As the clock ticked zero the Bradford faithful poured onto the field to celebrate with their victors.
“You know how big this is,” said Brewer as he watched his team celebrate with the fans. “It’s been a long time (since Bradford beat Covington). But, everyone knows Covington will be back. They are young this year, but they’ll be back.”
Covington drops to 4-5 on the season and must defeat Tri-County North next Friday in order to avoid its first losing season since 1994.
The Railroaders improve to 3-6 and have some momentum heading to its final game of the season against Ansonia in Bradford.
Scoring by Quarters:
Buccs: …….0……0…..7…..0 – 7
‘Roaders: ….0……0…..0….14 – 14