OCTOBER 6, 2017 – COVINGTON
As the Covington Buccaneers made their way from Smith Field to the high school after a crushing 12-7 defeat, the Buccs walked by a party that had broken out in the parking lot consisting of players, parents and fans of the Bethel Bees.
There was loud music and chanting from the Bethel faithful as they celebrated like they won the Super Bowl – and with good reason. It was the first time since 2004 Bethel had beaten Covington and the Bees earned it. They earned it by playing disciplined football on both sides of the ball – no turnovers and just three penalties while running the triple-option attack implemented by coach Scot Clodfelter.
For Covington, the celebration by Bethel was one final punch in the gut due to the fact that the Buccaneers once again let a likely win slip away due to unfortunate and many times silly penalties.
Consider, Covington outgunned Bethel by 170 yards – 410 to 240.
But the Buccaneers had 11 penalties for 110 yards with two of those penalties negating penitential touchdowns and two more coming from inside the Bethel five that stalled more potential scoring drives.
Plus, the Buccs committed the lone turnover in the game – an interception in the waning moments to seel the deal.
Bethel broke through first with a well executed drive on its first possession of the game. Starting at its own 35, the Bees drove methodically down the field and capped the effort with a three-yard scoring plunge by Caleb South.
Bethel then elected to go for the two-point conversion and Covington was able to make the stop to keep the score at 6-0.
The score remained at 6-0 until the Buccaneers finally hit pay dirt midway through the second quarter on a 49-yard scoring strike from sophomore quarterback Cade Schmelzer to senior slotback Ty Freeman. On the play, Schmelzer patiently went through his progressions and found Freeman wide open down the middle of the field.
Ethan Herron then connected on the point-after attempt to give the Buccs a 7-6 lead.
But Bethel, who throws only to keep opposing defenses honest, found a golden opportunity to hit a big strike through the air.
With the Buccaneer defense sneaking up to shut down the triple-option offense of the Bees, Bethel went to the air as Jacob Evans found Jacob Ullmer wide open over the middle for a 56-yard scoring strike.
The attempt for the point-after bounced off the right upright as the Bees went into the locker room holding on to a slim 12-7 lead.
Covington received the kickoff to start the second half and move the ball deep into Bethel territory. Cade Schmelzer then hit Ty Freeman with a pretty pass over the middle for what appeared to be an apparent score.
Unfortunately for Covington, Schmelzer had crossed the line of scrimmage on the pass attempt, which negated the touchdown.
After forcing the Bees to punt, Covington went bak to work on offense once again and move the ball inside the Bethel five with a short run by Ethan Herron to give the Buccs a fourth-and-one situation at the Bethel three.
Unfortunately for Covington, the yellow flag came out due to a Buccaneer player “running his mouth” after the play, which moved the ball 15 yards back.
Another Buccaneer penalty followed prior to the next snap ending the scoring threat.
Still, Covington’s defense was able to make yet another stop to give the offense the ball back midway through the fourth quarter.
And Covington once again moved the ball down the field and had the ball third-and-one at the Bethel four. But a false start penalty moved the ball back five more yards and an incomplete pass turned possession back to Bethel with just under 3:00 left in the game.
With one timeout left, Covington’s only option to extend the game was to force Bethel to a three-and-out – which it did as the Bees punted and the Buccaneers took over at its own 49 with 1:54 left in the game.
And on the very first play Cade Schmelzer connected with Zach Parrett on yet another pin-point pass down the right hash and Parrett advanced the ball to the Bethel one.
But like it had been previously throughout the contest, a yellow flag appeared indicating a penalty on Covington – which negated the big play and moved the Buccs back to their own 34.
Covington was able to advance the ball to the Bethel 24 on passes to Andrew Cates and Ty Freeman, but a desperation attempt for a comeback win was picked off by Bethel to end the contest.
“It’s disappointing,” said Covington coach Tyler Cates after his team dropped to 2-5 on the season. “But all you can do is move forward, stay together and keep fighting. I’ll never question the fight in Covington kids because they have a lot of fight. We’ll keep fighting and look toward next week.”
Which is a game at rival Bradford next Friday.
SCORE BY QUARTERS:
BUCCS – 0 – 7 – 0 – 0 = 7
BEES – 6 – 6 – 0 – 0 = 12
1st – BET: Caled South 3yd run (2pt conversion failed)
2nd – COV: Ty Freeman 49yd pass from Cade Schmelzer (Ethan Herron Kick)
2nd – BET: Jacob Ullmer 56yd pass from Jacob Evans (PAT Failed)