OCTOBER 17, 2020 – COVINGTON
Things looked very bleak for the Covington Buccaneers as they strolled toward the line of scrimmage trailing Arcanum 24-14 with 3:11 left in the second round of the state playoffs.
After all, Arcanum had the Buccaneers stunned by building a 24-7 lead until a Deacon Shields 40-yard touchdown run late in the third quarter – and then holding Covington in check throughout the first eight minutes of the fourth quarter.
Frustration had set in for Covington, but a belief in each other never wavered as Covington went on a terror over the final 3:11.
It started with a 28-yard scoring strike from junior quarterback Jensen Wagoner to senior slotback Deacon Shields and a two-point conversion run by Shields to cut the deficit to 24-22 with 3:06 left to play.
Then, an onside kick was executed perfectly by Covington as kicker David Robinson forced a high bounced on the ball that landed into the hands of teammate Connor Sindelir to give the Buccs the ball at midfield.
Buccaneer quarterback Jensen Wagoner, who gutted his way through the contest after suffering an injury a week ago, connected with Jakob Hamilton on a pretty pass down the Covington sideline to set the Buccs up inside the twenty.
Three plays later, and with 1:11 left on the clock, senior Trentin Alexander powered his way in from 10 yards out for the go-ahead touchdown.
On the play, Alexander broke several tackles and ran over two Arcanum defenders to reach pay dirt with a lunging effort at the goal line.
Duncan Cooper then ran in the two-point conversion to give the Buccs a 30-24 lead.
From there the Covington defense closed the show by holding Arcanum on fourth down near midfield.
The win had special meaning for Covington, who struggled a week ago in a 10-0 loss to Ansonia – and then struggled for much of three quarters against a very gritty and determined Arcanum team.
Arcanum opened the scoring with a 32-yard field goal by Joe Beck in the first quarter and then pushed the lead to 10-0 on a 23-yard pass from sophomore quarterback Bryce Schondelmyer to Ian Baker early in the second quarter as Covington had difficulty solving the Trojans’ passing game.
This was evident as Schondelmyer finished the game with 402 passing yards by completing 30 of 49 passes.
Covington also struggled offensively against the Arcanum defense, but was able to gain some momentum heading into the half with a five-yard scoring run by Trentin Alexander.
Arcanum received the ball to start the second half and converted on two fourth down attempts to set themselves up in scoring position. Schondelmyer then connected with Brennen Troutwine from 22 yards out to push its lead to 17-7 with 7:19 left in the frame.
The Trojans then followed by recovering an onside kick on the ensuing kickoff.
Schondelmyer then burned the Buccaneers on the very first offensive play by connecting with Ian Baker from 49 yards out to push the margin to 24-7 with 7:06 left in the third.
But that would be the final highlight for the Trojans as the Buccaneer defense made the necessary adjustments.
Tyler Owens recorded a huge interception to ignite a spark and shortly thereafter Deacon Shields broke loose on his 40-yard scoring run to close the gap to 24-14 after three.
The fourth quarter was then all Covington as the Buccs improve to 5-2 on the season and advance to play at West Jefferson next Saturday in the Regional Semi-Final.
SCORE BY QUARTERS:
BUCCS – 0 – 7 – 7 – 16 = 30
TROJANS – 3 – 7- 14 – 0 = 24
ARC – Joe Beck 32-yd Field Goal
ARC – Ian Baker 3-yd pass from Bryce Schondelmyer (Joe Beck Kick)
COV – Trentin Alexander 5-yd run (David Robinson Kick)
ARC – Brennen Troutwine 22-yd pass from Bryce Schondelmyer (Joe Beck Kick)
ARC – Ian Baker 49-yd pass from Bryce Schondelmyer (Joe Beck Kick)
COV – Deacon Shields 40-yd run (David Robinson Kick)
COV – Deacon Shields 28-yd pass from Jensen Wagoner (Deacon Shields Run)
COV – Trentin Alexander 10-yd run (Duncan Cooper Run)