SEPTEMBER 13, 2013 – COVINGTON
Covington coach Dave Miller knew his team was ready to play four quarters of physical football prior to the home opener against Mississinawa Valley of Friday.
And he knew it before the opening kickoff as the Buccaneers invited Tom Finfrock into the locker room. Finfrock played on the first Covington football team in the modern era in 1947 and is a member of the Covington Athletic Hall of Fame.
“How can you not get up for this?” asked Miller. “I mean, the tradition that’s here – a tradition that started with guys like Tom Finfrock. If you can’t get up for this, of all nights being Hall of Fame night, there’s something wrong with you.”
The kids in Buccaneer uniforms were up and it showed from the outset as Covington held Mississinawa Valley to a three-and-out and then scored on the its first offensive play on a 51-yard touchdown run by A.J. Ouellette.
“The kids understand what it means,” said Miller of Hall of Fame night. “They appreciate what they are a part of. This (playing Buccaneer football) is special.”
And a special night turned quickly into a Buccaneer route as Covington scored three more times to take a 25-0 lead after one quarter of play and then twice in the second quarter to push the margin to 37-0 at the half.
First, Ouellette scored on a 23-yard run and then returned a punt 97 yards for the score.
The senior followed with a 10-yard pass to Zakk Collins and closed out his evening with a 53-yard run.
Freshman Nathan Blei capped the first half with an 18-yard run
“We did what we had to do by jumping on them early,” Miller explained. “The kids played hard all night. I didn’t see us take any plays off.”
Covington didn’t take plays off, but did take some time to enjoy the Hall of Fame ceremony at the half, which was highlighted by an emotional speech by the Buccs’ #1 Fan, Dennis “Scooby” Willoughby.
“Scooby’s speech, wow, how emotional and inspirational,” Miller said. “To hear him talk about his dad, I certainly hope the kids took that to heart.”
With the game well in hand to start the second half, the Buccaneer varsity unit saw just one possession in the second half and senior Justin Williams capped an impressive opening drive with a four-yard run to push the lead to 44-0.
The junior varsity took over and the Buccaneers never missed a beat as freshman Deron White broke free up the middle for a 60-yard touchdown run just seconds into the fourth quarter.
Branden Robinson, another freshman, recovered a Mississinawa Valley fumble on the ensuing kickoff and the very next play Nathan Blei raced around the left end to score from 23 yards away to make the final score 56-0 in favor of Covington.
“This was a special night and the kids did what they had to do,” said Miller. “Our defense and kick coverage was better tonight and that’s something we’ve been working on. We made some mistakes in other areas that we need to address, but overall we played pretty well.”
Covington improves to 3-0 on the season and 2-0 in the Cross County Conference with a huge matchup at Bethel next week on the horizon.
SCORE BY QUARTERS:
BUCCS – 25 – 12 – 7 – 13 = 56
‘HAWKS – 0 – 0 – 0 – 0 = 0
COV: A.J. Ouellette 51-yd run (Kick Failed)
COV: A.J. Ouellette 23-yd run (Kick Failed)
COV: A.J. Ouellette 97-yd punt return (Ouellette Kick)
COV: Zakk Collins 10-yd pass from A.J. Ouellette (Kick Failed)
COV: A.J. Ouellette 53-yd run (Kick Failed)
COV: Nathan Blei 18-yd run (Kick Failed)
COV: Justin Williams 4-yd run (Blei Kick)
COV: Deron White 60-yd run (Kick Failed)
COV: Nathan Blei 23-yd run (Ouellette Kick)