OCTOBER 1, 2021 – WEST MILTON
The Covington Buccaneers found themselves up against arguably the most complete team they’ve seen all year on Friday in the Milton-Union Bulldogs. Milton had a size, speed and experience over Covington in all phases of the game, which led to a 51-0 defeat for the Buccaneers.
“That’s a really good football team,” said Covington coach Austin Morgan of the Bulldogs. “They are darn good.”
After praising the opponent, Morgan waisted little time giving praise to his own kids for their effort, toughness and buying into the process.
“But you know, I don’t judge our kids off of the other team,” Morgan continued. “I judge our team by what we do and the process it takes to become an elite team. I know it’s hard for people to see that when we are losing, but the kids are getting better every week.”
And the losses have come to some quality programs.
“When you look at the big picture, we’ve already played one of the toughest schedules around,” said Morgan. “Look, we’ve played Versailles, Anna and Tri-Village in our scrimmages and then played St. Henry, Mechanicsburg, Fort Loramie, Northridge and now Milton. Not too many teams play a schedule like that, yet our kids never quit. Now the Troy Christian game was ugly, but outside of that our kids have battled.”
And even though the 51-0 score may not show it, Covington battled from start to finish against the Bulldogs.
Milton received the opening kickoff, but the Buccaneer defense stifled the Bulldogs and forced a punt near midfield.
Milton pinned Covington deep into its own territory by perfectly executed punt by do-everything junior standout Blake Brumbaugh and the Buccaneers couldn’t get out of the hole on three straight plays.
This led to a huge return by the Bulldogs’ most dangerous weapon in – yes – Blake Brumbaugh, who returned the punt deep into Buccaneer territory.
A few plays later junior quarterback Nate Morter dove in from a yard out to put the first points on the board, 7-0.
On Milton’s next offensive possession Morter connected with Ray Copleand on a 37-yard scoring hookup on a play that took a bad bounce for the Buccaneers as senior Landon LaPoint was in perfect position and got a hand on the ball in the air. Unfortunately, the ball bounced off of LaPoint’s hands and directly into the waiting arms of Copeland to push the Bulldog lead to 14-0.
From there Milton became nearly unstoppable on offense as the Bulldogs pushed their lead to 37-0 at the break on an 18-yard run by Blake Neumaier, a 55-yard scoring strike from Morter to Brumbaugh and a 30-yard field goal by Mason Grudich.
Covington did have its own scoring chances in the first half, but couldn’t cash in as a long pass to a wide open receiver bounced off of the target’s finger tips and a dropped pass over the middle stalled a potential scoring drive.
But the kids in Covington uniforms never once hung their heads. Instead, the kids continued to focus on the next play.
It led to a huge 54-yard kickoff return by freshman Christian Jarvis to start the second half.
The Buccaneers eventually moved the ball into field goal range, but the kick was blocked by the Bulldog pursuit.
After a scoreless third period Milton hit pay dirt early in the final frame on a 1-yard run by Jordan Foose to push the Bulldog lead to 44-0.
Both teams inserted younger kids into the lineup until a Milton punting situation late in the contest.
This led to a snap that went over the head of – you guessed it – Blake Brumbaugh, who managed to scoop up the ball at the Bulldog five and weave his way 95 yards for the final score of the game.
“This was a really good challenge for our kids to see where we are at,” Morgan said of Milton. “I think they’ll win the league and probably make some noise in the state playoffs, if they stay healthy. But our kids fought tonight.”
For Covington, it drops to 1-6 on the season and 1-3 in the TRC.
But the record isn’t the measuring stick for a Buccaneer team who is working to establish a new culture – an elite culture.
“You are not going to be able to build an elite culture overnight,” said Morgan. “But these kids are fighting. I’m really excited for the future of Covington football. I understand it is hard to see that if you are on the outside looking in, but I really think we are headed in the right direction. We just have to be patient with the development of these kids because the growth process will show in time.”
Covington hosts Lehman Catholic next Friday with another opportunity to grow.
SCORE BY QUARTERS:
BUCCS – 0 – 0 – 0 – 0 = 0
‘DOGS – 21 – 16 – 0 – 14 = 51
MU – Nate Morter 1-yd run (Mason Grudich Kick)
MU – Ray Copeland 37-yd pass from Nate Morter (Mason Grudich Kick)
MU – Michael Elan 13-yd run (Mason Grudich Kick)
MU – Blake Neumaier 18-yd run (Kick Failed)
MU – Blake Brumbaugh 55-yd pass from Nate Morter (Mason Grudich Kick)
MU – Mason Grudich 30-yd Field Goal
MU – Jordan Foose 1-yd run (Mason Grudich Kick)
MU – Blake Brumbaugh 95-yd run (Mason Grudich Kick)