CASSTOWN – The Covington Buccaneers lost to Miami East 42-7, but played their hearts out in the final game of the season, which sets the tone for the future.
And the future is extremely bright as long as the players stick together and build on to the hard work they put to this point. The entire roster is set to return outside of two outstanding seniors, Derrick Meyer and Garrett Hobbs.
A glimpse of the future for Covington was on display throughout the majority of the plays Friday night, but the youth and inexperience led to several missed opportunities for the Buccs and big plays for a very talented Miami East team.
The Buccaneers received the opening kickoff and eventually were forced to punt on the first possession of the game, but the defense made a huge play as Jack Blumenstock recovered a Viking fumble near midfield.
Covington moved the ball to the Viking two, but a penalty and a three-yard loss moved the ball back to the 17. On third-and-goal, freshman quarterback Landin Cassel hooked up with sophomore Day’Lynn Garrett in the corner of the end zone for a touchdown and a 7-0 lead after the PAT kick was made by Filip McMaken.
The Buccaneers held on to the 7-0 lead until Miami East was able to tie the score on an 18-yard touchdown pass from KJ Gustin to Michael Hohenstein with 8:17 left in the half.
Miami East scored again on a trick play where Gustin flipped the ball back to Hohenstein, who connected with Kamden Wolfe on a 26-yard touchdown pass to give the Vikings a 14-7 lead with 2:39 left in the half.
Covington was forced to punt on its next possession, but the Buccaneer defense made a huge play once again as Day’Lynn Garrett picked off a Viking pass near midfield with 1:10 left in the half.
This is when things went downhill for the Buccaneers in a hurry.
On the next play the Vikings intercepted a Buccaneer pass and then scored on a 45-yard run by Aaron Mills with 50 seconds left in the half. Mills, who is obviously the most physical back the Buccaneer faced all year, rushed for 262 yards on 31 carries.
After the ensuing kickoff, Miami East intercepted another Buccaneer pass and then scored on a 4-yard touchdown pass from KJ Gustin to Kamden Wolfe as time expired in the first half. This gave Miami East a 28-7 lead instead of a 14-7 lead if the Buccaneers had taken care of the football in the final minute of the half.
Covington then had another golden opportunity for a big play early in the third quarter as a Viking fumble was available in the open field to be scooped up and scored by the Buccaneers. The Buccaneers did recover the fumble, but had a wide opening field to the end zone they didn’t take advantage of.
The Buccaneers were forced to punt and Miami East was able to capitalize on a 28-yard touchdown run by KJ Gustin to push its lead to 35-7.
Miami East then scored once again on a 10-yard run by Drake Bennett to make the final score 42-7.
The score is the final result, but it doesn’t represent the overall performance the Buccaneers put forth against a talented and more experience football team.
Defensively the Buccaneers forced five turnovers – three via fumble and two on interceptions by Jordan Miller and Day’Lynn Garrett.
Offensively, the Buccaneers made some big plays as well. Unfortunately, the miscues Covington made led to opportunities for Miami East.