OCTOBER 21, 2011 – COVINGTON
Tears were flowing down the faces of the six seniors on the Covington roster as they played their final regular season game on Smith Field. It was so emotional for Sam Christian, Steven Blei, Darren Clark, Sam Earick, Brandon Powell and Isaiah Winston as this could very well be their final appearance on the home field unless the Buccs can earn a home playoff game.
“They are a great group of kids,” said Covington coach Dave Miller of his senior class. “That’s a group that has been told they weren’t very good when they were younger. They’ve had a chip on their shoulders all four years here and they’ve been on a mission.”
That mission is to make Covington football history and by the time the six seniors walked off the field to a standing ovation leading 49-12 over Ansonia with 3:45 left in the third quarter, this special group of kids had led their team to another step toward the ultimate goal.
“They (the seniors) have led by example all year,” Miller continued. “It was great for our football team to let those guys walk off the field like they did tonight. It’s very well deserved.”
Ansonia opened the game running the ball right at the Buccaneer defense – and with success – recording two first downs on the game’s first possession.
But the Buccs held, forcing the Tigers to punt.
Covington then opened the scoring on its first possession of the game as Trent Tobias took the pitch from Isaiah Winston and used a key block by senior Sam Earick to break free down the Buccaneer sideline for a 44-yard touchdown run.
Senior Steven Blei connected on his first of seven extra points attempts to give Covington a 7-0 lead.
“We had a good start there, forcing a punt to start the game and then scoring on our first possession,” Miller said.
But Ansonia did something on its second possession that few teams have been able to do against the Buccaneer defense – driving 15 plays for a touchdown.
Seth Keller capped the effort with a three-yard run to cut the margin to 7-6 as the two-point conversion attempt fell a yard short.
“We didn’t tackle very well there,” Miller explained. “It was fundamentals, where we didn’t run our feet.”
It was also Ansonia doing what it does best – go right at defenses with hard-nosed, aggressive football.
“They are good at what they do,” Miller said of Ansonia. “They gave us some things we need to work on, that’s for sure.”
With Ansonia’s scoring drive eating up much of the first quarter, the Buccs responded early in the second quarter with a well executed drive of their own.
Trent Tobias capped the drive with a four-yard run to push the Buccaneer lead to 14-6.
Covington’s defense then turned the tables on the Tiger offense as Brian Olson recovered a fumble inside the Ansonia 30. The Buccs then took advantage of the turnover with a four-yard Alex Baskerville run to push the lead to 21-6.
And Covington wasn’t done as the defense once again held on the ensuing possession and Trent Tobias followed with a 16-yard scoring strike to Troy Cron, increasing the Buccaneer margin to 28-6.
But anyone looking for Ansonia to pack it in early came away disappointed as the Tigers battled to get back into the game before the half.
And Covington helped the Tiger’s cause, committing two 15-yard penalties on one play to move Ansonia into scoring position in the closing minute of the first half.
Keller took advantage for Ansonia, scoring on an eight-yard run to cut the deficit to 28-12 at the break.
“We had some penalties that we shouldn’t be making,” said Miller, as his team had eight flags thrown on them for 110 yards. “Some of those were not very smart.”
Covington wasted little time gaining the momentum back as it scored three touchdowns in the first seven minutes of the second half.
First, Isaiah Winston, who was rather quiet in the first half, broke free through the heart of the Tiger defense for a 61-yard touchdown run.
Baskerville then followed with touchdown runs of 11 and 33 yards to pretty much end matters with 4:54 left in the third quarter.
“When we got the score at the beginning of the second half, it sort of took the wind out of their sails,” Miller explained. “After that things started to really click for us offensively. Our offensive line took over and our backs ran hard.”
Leading 49-12, Miller gave his seniors the rest of the night off and shortly thereafter turned the game over to the youngsters.
Still, the Buccs were able to cap the evening with a 33-yard field goal by Steven Blei early in the final frame.
This made the final margin 52-12 as the Buccs improve to 9-0 overall and 8-0 in the CCC.
“It was a good win over a very well coached football team, but we still have a lot of work to do,” Miller said. “We made some mistakes out there that will show up on film and we’ll address those mistakes this week in practice.”
The win locks up at least a share of the CCC title, but Covington hopes to seal it outright next week at Arcanum.
SCORE BY QUARTERS:
BUCCS – 7 – 21 – 21 – 3 = 52
TIGERS – 6 – 6 – 0 – 0 = 12
COV: Tobias 45 yard run (Blei kick)
ANS: Seth Keller 3 yard run (2pt con failed)
COV: Tobias 4 yard run (Blei kick)
COV: Baskervill 1 yard run (Blei kick)
COV: Tobias 16 yard pass to Cron (Blei kick)
ANS: Keller 8 yard run (2pt conv failed)
COV: Winston 61 yard run (Blei kick)
COV: Baskerville 11 yard run (Blei kick)
COV: Baskerville 33 yard run (Blei kick)
COV: Blei 25 yard field goal