SEPTEMBER 3, 2021 – FORT LORAMIE
The scores of Covington’s first three games of the season may not reflect it, but the Buccaneers are making huge strides of improvement each and every week.
And even though the Buccaneers dropped to 0-3 on the season with a 42-25 defeat to a talented Fort Loramie team, the improvement in all phases of the game was evident.
“Our kids are playing really, really, really hard,” said Covington coach Austin Morgan. “These kids are phenomenal. We are getting a lot of guys buying in.”
Which showed throughout the contest as the energy on the field and on the sideline never wavered at any time.
What was also extremely impressive was the outstanding character the kids showed prior to the game. While Fort Loramie was honoring military veterans, the Buccaneers lined up and shook the hands of every veteran – an idea initiated by senior Connor Sindelir.
“A lot of times people talk about their core values, but they don’t really buy into it – they just say it or put it on a shirt thinking that means something,” Morgan continued. “But as you can see by the effort and energy, our kids truly believe in what we are doing.”
Early in the contest the biggest difference between the two teams was the ability to execute in key situations – something Fort Loramie was able to do and Covington wasn’t.
For exampled, twice Covington had Fort Loramie in fourth down situations, but couldn’t make the play to gain possession. First, the Redskins had fourth-and-goal at the six, but Covington jumped off sides. On the next play from three yards out the Redskins cleared the goal line by a foot.
Later, Fort Loramie was facing a fourth-and-eight situation near the Buccaneer twenty and a blown coverage in the secondary resulted into a first down. Two plays later the Redskins scored to push their lead to 21-0.
Offensively for Covington, there were two golden opportunities for what appeared to be sure touchdowns the Buccaneers failed to capitalize on – both coming in the passing game.
The first missed opportunity came after Fort Loramie built a 14-0 lead. Looking to gain some momentum, Covington’s Connor Sindelir was wide open ten yards behind the defense. Unfortunately the Buccaneer pass protection didn’t hold up long enough and the attempted pass fell short.
Later, another Buccaneer receiver was open down the Fort Loramie sideline, but couldn’t haul in a perfect pass by Jensen Wagoner.
Failing to execute on those four plays turned into a four score difference in the first half as Fort Loramie held a 35-0 halftime lead instead of what could possibly have been 21-14 at the break.
“We talked as coaches at halftime about how hard the kids were playing and how great their attitudes were,” Morgan said. “You could sense something good was going to happen in the second half.”
And it didn’t take long as Covington opened up the second half with an 88-yard kick return by freshman Izaiah Sherman, who bursts through the middle of the Redskin pursuers to score the Buccs’ first touchdown of the season.
After Fort Loramie pushed its lead to 42-7 on a five-yard run by Caleb Maurer, the Buccaneers responded with a 6-yard scoring run by Sherman on fourth-and-goal.
The Buccaneers would score twice more as Jensen Wagoner hit Connor Sindelir from three yards out and then Landon LaPoint scored on an 85-yard interception return to make the final score 42-25 in favor of Fort Loramie.
“We are definitely headed in the right direction,” praised Morgan of his Buccaneers. “The officials and their chain gang even commented on how much energy our kids have and how they continued to play hard when we were behind. There is no quit in these kids.”
Facing teams the caliber of St. Henry, Mechanicsburg and Fort Loramie in the first three outings forced a young and inexperienced Covington team to grow in a hurry.
“Those three games made us better,” Morgan said. “Our kids have continued to grind every single day and are beginning to see some results. We have to come back tomorrow morning to get back to work and hopefully take another step forward in week four.”
Next up for Covington is a home outing against Troy Christian to open up Three Rivers Conference play.
SCORE BY QUARTERS:
BUCCS – 0 – 0 – 13 – 12 = 25
REDSKINS – 14 -21 – 7 – 0 = 42
FL: Damon Mescher 3-yd run (PAT Good)
FL: Caleb Maurer 7-yd run (PAT Good)
FL: Damon Mescher 68-yd pass from Caleb Maurer (PAT Good)
FL: Jacob Sherman 1-yd run (PAT Good)
FL: Caleb Maurer 10-yd run (PAT Good)
COV: Izaiah Sherman 88-yd kick return (Jensen Wagoner Kick)
FL: Caleb Maurer 5-yd run (PAT Good)
COV: Izaiah Sherman 6-yd run (PAT Failed)
COV: Connor Sindelir 3-yd pass from Jensen Wagoner (PAT Failed)
COV: Landon LaPoint 85-yd Interception Return (PAT Failed)