SEPTEMBER 25, 2020 – LEWISBURG
If the Covington Buccaneers hope to make any kind of noise in the state playoffs – which begin two weeks from now – this football team has a lot of things to clean up.
This was evident on Friday as Covington self destructed for three quarters until finally putting things together in the final frame en route to a 26-0 win over Tri-County North.
Penalties, dropped passes and poor snaps from center killed Covington all night long.
And it started on the opening drive of the game as the Buccaneers had a pretty touchdown strike from Jensen Wagoner to Jakob Hamilton called back due to a holding penalty – the first of seven justified penalties called on Covington.
Fortunately, the Buccaneer defense was stellar, bailing out the offense time after time.
Covington finally scored with 1:33 left in the first half on a five-yard run by Deacon Shields.
Shields was the spark plug for the Buccaneers on this night as the senior tallied 99 yards on just eight carries and also recorded a huge interception late in the game.
The extra point attempt after the Shields’ score never materialized as the snap to the hold was mixed up, leaving the score at 6-0 in favor of Covington at the break.
The third period was just as ugly as Covington failed to capitalize on golden opportunities to reach the end zone due to dropped passes and untimely penalties.
Again, the defense bailed out the offense by holding Tri-County North inside the Buccaneer 20 after the Panthers put together a nice offensive drive.
Deacon Shields then gave Covington a huge spark by breaking loose on a 40-yard run that ended with a Panther penalty for 15 additional yards.
Shortly thereafter, Trentin Alexander powered his way in from a yard out. But again, there was a mix-up on the snap to hold on the point-after. This made the score 12-0 in favor of Covington with 6:05 left in the game.
The Buccaneer defense forced the Panthers to punt on the ensuing possession and once again Deacon Shields made a huge play – this time sealing the outcome of the game. The senior scat back broke free from 27 yards out to push the Buccaneer lead to 19-0 after the extra point attempt was true with 2:35 left in the game.
Even with victory well in hand, Shields wasn’t done. The senior, who missed some time this season due to injury, picked off a Logan Flory pass and advanced the ball deep inside the Panther 25.
Trentin Alexander followed by breaking several tackles for 22 yards to advance the ball to the Panthers’ one. On the very next play senior lineman Clayton Stephan was moved to fullback and powered his way in for the score and a 26-0 lead with 1:23 left after David Robinson connected on the point-after.
From there it was a matter of the defense keeping everything in front to preserve a much-deserved shutout.
At the end of the day it was an ugly victory when you consider the self inflicting wounds committed by Covington.
But, it was also a beautiful performance by the Buccaneer defense, who stood strong in adverse situations – surrendering just 116 yards of offense to Tri-County North and holding the Panthers scoreless.
The win improves Covington’s record to 4-1 on the season with the immediate future in doubt.
That’s because next week’s matchup against National Trail – who was inserted into the schedule because Ansonia had already scheduled North in the CCC Crossover game – has been cancelled due to the Blazers unfortunately suffering from Covid-19 circumstances.
Hopefully Covington is able to find another opponent for next Friday so it can address its self-inflicting deficiencies before the state playoffs begin in two weeks.
SCORE BY QUARTERS:
BUCCS – 0 – 6 – 0 – 20 = 26
PANTHERS – 0 – 0 – 0 – 0 = 0
2nd – COV: Deacon Shields 5-yd run (PAT Failed)
4th – COV: Trentin Alexander 1-yd run (PAT Failed)
4th – COV: Deacon Shields 27-yd run (David Robinson Kick)
4th – COV: Clayton Stephan 1-yd run (David Robinson Kick)