September 9, 2005 – Anna
When you win the statistical battle with 324 total yards to 259 total yards, a victory is more than likely in the cards. But, unfortunately for the Covington Buccaneers, three missed opportunities inside the Anna five cost the Buccs in a 26-8 loss.
“Not being able to score inside their five three times just killed us,” said Covington coach Kevin Finfrock. “We moved the ball very well all night, but turnovers and penalties just killed us.”
Covington took the opening kickoff and marched all the way inside the Anna one-yard line.
A 38-yard run by Gene Studebaker, who recorded 177 rushing yards on the game, was the key play on the drive as Covington had first-and-goal at the nine. Three running plays set the Buccs at the one with fourth-and-goal.
Electing to go for the touchdown, Studebaker stretched out for a quarterback keeper as the ball was knocked loose and recovered inside the one by Anna.
The Rockets took advantage with a 21-yard pass from Kyle Muehlfeld to John Pence on the very next play.
Two plays later Muehlfeld connected with Bryant Bensman over the middle for a 79-yard touchdown strike to give Anna a 6-0 lead as the point-after failed.
Covington took its next possession and again marched deep into Anna territory.
Ground control by Studebaker, Dusty Kimmel and Nick Christian set the Buccs up with first and goal at the Rockets’ five.
Looking to put points on the board, the Buccs turned the ball over via a fumble and Anna took over at the three.
Covington’s defense held Anna to give the ball back to the offense with time to score before the half.
Again, The Buccs moved the ball inside the Anna 10-yard line. But, on fourth-and-three from the Anna four, a Studebaker run fell six inches short giving Anna the ball inside the two.
The Rockets ran out the clock with a narrow 6-0 lead.
“If we score on those drives it’s a different game,” said Finfrock. “Instead of being up 21-6, we go into the half down 6-0.”
The Rockets increased their lead on the first play of the second half. Mark Bensman took the kick-off 82 yards through the Covington special teams for the score. The two-point conversion failed keeping the score 12-0.
“I’m disappointed in our execution on special teams,” described Finfrock. “We had missed tackles and guys not staying in their lanes.”
The Rockets increased their lead to 20-0 on their first time-consuming drive late in the third period. The drive was capped off by a 1-yard touchdown run by Bryant Bensman.
The Buccs committed their fourth turnover of the contest on the first possession of the final stanza as a Studebaker pass was picked off by Andy Steinke and returned to the Covington 32.
A few plays later Bryant Bensman scored from 2 yards out to increase the margin to 26-0 with 11:03 left in the game.
The Covington offense put together their fifth long drive of the game, this time with three clutch passes from Studebaker to Drew Craft, one coming on a fourth-and-eight.
Studebaker concluded the drive with a 12-yard touchdown run to close the gap to 28-6. The two-point conversion was good to make the score 28-8.
Trying to get the ball back, Covington attempted an onside kick, but the ball rolled out of play before a diving Jordy Burelison could maintain control. The Rockets took over and gradually worked on the clock, but the Covington defense held on four straight plays to force a punt.
The Buccs again moved the ball into Anna territory, but a four-and-five conversion was called back due to a penalty to kill the drive.
Anna then ran out the clock to secure the 26-8 win.
“Anna is a quick, physical football team,” complemented Finfrock. “But, I think we matched their intensity and physicalness. We just didn’t capitalize on our opportunities.”
The Buccs controlled the action with 64 offensive plays to 44 plays for Anna. Covington also held a statistical advantage on the ground with 226 yards to Anna’s 156. The four turnovers in key situations came back to haunt the Buccs as they drop to 2-1 on the season and 1-1 in the CCC.
Covington looks to rebound next week as its hosts Twin Valley South for the annual Homecoming Game.
Scoring by Quarters:
Buccs: …….0……0…..0…….8 – 8
Rockets: ….6……0…..14……6 – 26
First Downs – 16
Rushing – 226
Passing – 98
Total Yrds – 324
Total Plays – 64
Fumbles – 3-3
Penalties – 5-50
Gene Studebaker: 27-177-1TD
Dusty Kimmel: 14-40-0TD
Nick Christian: 6-9-0TD
Gene Studebaker: 10-17-98-0td-1int
Drew Craft: 4-67-0td
Dusty Kimmel: 3-15-0td
Nick Christian: 3-15-0td
First Downs – 13
Rushing – 156
Passing – 103
Total Yrds – 259
Total Plays – 44
Fumbles – 1-1
Penalties – 6-50
Corey Sniffen: 13-70-0TD
Mark Bensman: 7-47-0TD
Bryant Bensman: 10-28-0TD
Andy Steinke: 2-7-0TD
Kyle Muehlfeld: 4-2-0TD
Kyle Muehlfeld: 4-6-103-1td-0int
Mark Bensman: 2-3-0td
Bryant Bensman: 1-79-1td
John Pence: 1-21-0td