September 29, 2006 ANSONIA | game stats |
|Gene Studebaker ran for 192 yards on 25 carries.
Before the 2006 season even started Covington coach Kevin Finfrock knew his inexperienced offensive and defensive lines would suffer through growing pains, but expected them to develop continuity and improve as the season progressed.
Finfrock's expectations are coming to fruition as evident of the performance of his players in the trenches in the Buccs' 22-6 victory over Ansonia, Friday.
"Our lineman played very well tonight, especially on the defensive side of the ball," smiled Finfrock. "The kids controlled the line of scrimmage and played physical football. This was our best defensive performance of the season."
Covington's defensive unit knew the task of containing Ansonia's talented backfield of Eric Beisner and Logan Beam would be a difficult one.
But it was up to the task, holding the duo to just 98 combined yards on 30 carries.
"The kids know Ansonia's backs are good," Finfrock continued. "They just had the mindset to shut them down and went out and got the job done."
Meanwhile, Covington's Gene Studebaker torched the Tiger defense for 192 rushing yards on 25 carries - 14 of those yards coming on a fourth quarter touchdown to seal the game.
"The entire offensive line stepped up tonight and opened up some nice holes," Finfrock described.
As good as the line played, still things were not all rosy for the Buccaneers.
Seventy yards in penalties were generated as the result of nine infractions, leaving Finfrock and his staff plenty of ammunition to stress improvement over the next week.
"We can't have those mistakes," said Finfrock. "We killed two potential scoring drives in the first half with penalties. Those are things we need to correct."
Covington opened the scoring in the first quarter as Studebaker connected with Seth Mohler over the middle from 29 yards out.
On the extra point attempt, the snap was mishandled. Seth Mohler regrouped, however, and rolled out to the right, only to find Chris Long in the end zone for the two-point conversion.
Covington moved the ball deep into Ansonia territory twice in the second quarter, but failed to put points on the board due to untimely penalties.
The Buccs, who had made a reputation as a quick-strike offense so far this season, implemented a ground control attack to start the second half.
The result was a 74-yard scoring drive that took over 8:00 off the clock.
Studebaker capped the drive with a bullet across the middle to Andy Sparks from eight yards out. Tyler Kanet kicked the extra point to increase Covington's lead to 15-0.
"That was a big drive," said Finfrock. "We kind of let them stay in the game in the first half, but that drive was huge."
The reason, Ansonia started to get untracked with its own offense.
Sparked by a kickoff return by Beisner into Covington's side of the field and a 15-yard face mask penalty by the Buccs, Ansonia got right back into the game with a one-yard run by Chance Cox.
The attempt for two fell short as the Covington defense swarmed Beisner, stopping him six inches short.
"We have shore some things up on special teams," Finfrock said. "We had that nice drive and then let them back into the game with a return. We have to fix that."
Any thoughts by Ansonia for a comeback were dashed in the opening moments of the fourth quarter.
As the Tigers were driving into Covington territory, Bryant Hale knocked the ball loose from Beisner. Andy Sparks fell on the prize to put the Covington offense back in business.
Again, Covington stuck pretty much to the ground attack as Studebaker and company gradually worked the ball down the field.
The senior signal caller then called his own number and sealed the contest with a 14-yard touchdown run. Kanet made true on his final attempt of the contest to give Covington a 22-6 win.
"A number of kids made big plays tonight," said Finfrock. "Sparks had some big plays defensively and made a nice reception for the touchdown. Logan Wolock came in and had two big catches to keep drives alive. Bryant Hale was always around the ball and Jordy Burelison was all over the field defensively. Logan Hall has come in at the nose and just wreaks havoc."
Covington, who improves to 6-0 overall and 5-0 in the Cross County Conference has many more big games in the final four weeks, including Arcanum next week.
"The kids are feeling confident and excited about the challenges ahead," concluded Finfrock. "We have some areas we need to work on and we have to continue to improve each and every week. Next week's game is another challenge we'll have to be ready to meet."
If the performance against Ansonia is any indication, the Buccs will be ready to do just that.