September 2, 2005 – Covington
It was a special night in so many ways Friday night at Smith Field in Covington, Ohio. It was a night to honor Dan Rindler and his family and to celebrate the home opener against Tri-County North.
At the request of Buccaneer J.J. Thompson, who was originally selected as honorary captain for his performance against Miami East a week ago, the Rindler family took his place to participate in the coin toss.
“That was a very nice suggestion by J.J.,” said Covington coach Kevin Finfrock. “Wouldn’t you know it, it was the first time in two years we won the coin toss? Dan is with us and will always be with us, every step of the way. His parents are very special to us and our kids. We really miss Dan.”
After the coin toss the entire Buccaneer squad gathered around mid-field where Rindler’s name and number 28 was painted by members of the Bucc Boosters. The team knelt for a moment of silence, while you could hear a pin drop amongst the Covington faithful.
Once the game started, however, the silence turned into a roar from the crowd as Covington scored at will in the first half.
Senior Nick Christian got the Buccs rolling on their second possession with a 38-yard touchdown run. Junior Tyler Kanet kicked the point-after to give Covington a 7-0 lead.
On Tri-County North’s next possession, Covington’s Logan Brown intercepted a Tyler Dunham pass to give the Buccs possession again.
“Logan Brown had a great game,” said Finfrock. “He was all over the field tonight.
Senior halfback Dusty Kimmel capitalized for the Buccs with a 4-yard run to give Covington a 13-0 lead, which stood until the end of the stanza. It was Kimmel’s first touchdown at the high school level, much to the delight of his coaches and teammates.
“He (Kimmel) came off the field and was elated,” said Finfrock. “He said it was a great feeling.”
After a Skyler Mitchell interception on North’s next possession, Kimmel struck again from 9 yards out. Kanet nailed the extra point and Covington set the stage for a potential route by going up 20-0.
“Dusty Kimmel kept getting better and better as the game went on,” described Finfrock. “He had a lot of carries tonight and he handled it very well. That’s a good sign to me that he can handle that many carries and keep running strong.”
Kimmel, who would finish the night with 172 yards on 29 carries, showed power and explosiveness throughout the contest.
The 6’4″, 200 lb. senior wasn’t the only Buccaneer having a big night. Nick Christian also contributed greatly with his second touchdown run by half time. After a fourth Panther turnover, Christian pounded his way in from 2 yards out to give Covington a 26-0 lead.
Looking to go into the locker room with all of the momentum, Covington had a mental lapse and allowed the Panthers to put points on the board before the half.
Set up by a 44-yard screen play from Tyler Dunham to Drew Heindl, the Panthers moved the ball deep into Covington territory. Two plays later Matt Furguson hauled in a Dunham pass from 10 yards out to cut the margin to 26-7 with just two seconds left in the half.
The Buccs waisted little time taking the momentum back early in the second half as Kimmel scored his third and final touchdown of the night. Running through a hole that a truck could have went through created by C.J. Potter and Brian Ely, Kimmel went in untouched from 15 yards out to give the Buccs a 33-7 lead.
“C.J. Potter was dominating tonight,” said Finfrock. “Our offensive line opened up some huge holes and the backs ran hard.”
The Buccs continued to control the line of scrimmage into the fourth quarter as quarterback Gene Studebaker became the beneficiary of running through large holes created by the line. The junior speedster closed out the scoring with a 20-yard run and a Tyler Kanet extra point gave Covington a commanding 40-7 lead.
“I do want to mention that Tyler Kanet played very well,” complemented Finfrock. “He kicked the ball very well, one which resulted in a turnover on special teams.”
With the game well in hand, the Buccs turned the game over to the second unit.
The youngsters put together another potential scoring drive late in the fourth period behind the running of junior Travis Wamer and freshman Tyler Thompson.
Thompson, who finished with 22 yards on 6 carries, pounded his way for seven tough yards to give Covington a first down deep in Panther territory. Unfortunately for Covington, a penalty stalled the drive, but the reserve unit showed enough to impress their coach.
“The offensive line on the second unit did a great job opening up holes,” said Finfrock. “(Tyler) Thompson loves playing on Friday nights and it’s good to see our kids get that opportunity.”
Leading the way for Covington was Dusty Kimmel with 172 yards on 29 carries and three touchdowns, while Gene Studebaker racked up 109 yards on 14 carries.
Nick Christian also had a big night with 83 yards on just 5 carries, including two touchdowns and one interception.
Covington improves to 2-0 on the season and 1-0 in the CCC. The Buccs travel to face unbeaten Anna next Friday in a huge Cross County Conference match-up.
Scoring by Quarters:
Buccs: …….13……14…..7…….7 – 40
Panthers: ….0……..7…..0…….7 – 7
First Downs – 25
Rushing – 392
Passing – 64
Total Yrds – 456
Total Plays – 64
Fumbles – 1-0
Penalties – 4-40
Dusty Kimmel: 29-172-3td
Gene Studebaker: 14-109-1td
Nick Christian: 5-83-2td
Tyler Thompson: 6-22-0td
Chris Long: 3-6-0td
Gene Studebaker: 3-7-64-0td-0int
Drew Craft: 3-64-0td
TRI-COUNTY NORTH STATS:
First Downs – 10
Rushing – 63
Passing – 124
Total Yrds – 187
Total Plays – 46
Fumbles – 1-1
Penalties – 0-0
Tri-County North Rushing:
Drew Heindl: 8-24-0td
Eric Croley: 2-18-0td
Garrett Lawson: 3-14-0td
James Anderson: 4-14-0td
Orry Bettker: 4-4-0td
Dan Baumbarger: 1-3-0td
Josh Linder: 1-1-0td
Tyler Dunham: 4-minus 15-0td
Tri-County North Passing:
Tyler Dunham: 9-18-124-1td-3int
D.J. DeHart: 0-1-0td-0int
Tri-County North Receiving:
Drew Heindl: 4-91-0td
Matt Furgeson: 2-10-1td
James Anderson: 1-14-0td
No. 88: 1-8-0td