October 7, 2006 COVINGTON | game stats |
|Arnold Thompson heads upfield for the Buccs.
|MR. & MRS. HOLLOPETER
Congrats to Buccs' assistant coach Glen Hollopeter and his new wife, Kay.
Covington coach Kevin Finfrock had every reason to smile due to the Buccaneers first half performance and every reason to be fuming after a sloppy second half performance.
The Buccaneers played nearly flawless in the first half, building a 28-0 lead - only to return in the second half with four turnovers.
"We played very good in the first half," said Finfrock. "But, we made way too many mistakes in the second half. We can't have that."
Still, Covington improved to 7-0 on the season and maintained a strong hold on the Cross County Conference by moving to 6-0.
"Great teams put other teams away when they have them down," Finfrock continued. "We have to learn to come out with the same intensity in the second half regardless of the score. This is another learning experience for us."
Covington came out on fire in the first half as Gene Studebaker was virtually unstoppable. The senior quarterback accumulated 201 first half rushing yards and scored on runs of 53, 62 and 33 yards before half time. He also threw for another first half score - an 8 yard pass to Seth Mohler.
"Gene is very comfortable back there (at quarterback)," described Finfrock. "He sees the field and reads the defense so well. He has become a complete player."
Studebaker, who finished with 243 rushing yards and 83 passing yards on the night, didn't do it alone.
"Gene will be the first one to tell you that he has a strong supporting cast," Finfrock explained. "The offensive line has to do their job for anyone to have success. They opened up some huge holes tonight. I don't think Gene was even touched on two of his touchdown runs."
The offensive line, which has been the source of questions early in the year, has improved with each outing. The improvement has allowed Studebaker to reach the 1000-yard plateau for the second straight year as he now has 1042 yards in seven games.
"They (the offensive line) improves every day," continued Finfrock. "Arcanum moved their defensive front and linebackers around all night to try and confuse us, but the kids just stayed focus and executed. The line has been playing more physical and playing with improved technique."
Leading 28-0 into the second half, the Buccs fell victim to uncharacteristic mistakes in the third quarter.
Arcanum took the opening possession and marched down the field, only to be turned away in Covington territory.
But, the Buccs turned the ball over via fumble - giving Arcanum a golden opportunity to score.
The Trojans took advantage with a four-yard touchdown to cut the margin to 28-7.
Arcanum then applied an on-side kick that bounced off a Covington player prior to going ten yards. The Trojans recovered, giving them the ball at mid-field.
"Our offense and special teams put the defense in some tough situations in the third quarter," Finfrock described.
The Buccaneer defense responded as Drew Craft forced an untimely pass, which fell into the hands of Tyler Kanet for the interception.
"Our defense stepped up and made plays all night," said Finfrock. "The defensive front and linebackers did an excellent job pressuring the quarterback and the secondary played solid pass defense and came up in run support."
Covington couldn't take advantage of the opportunity, however, as a third fumble gave the ball back to Arcanum as the Buccs were driving toward the red zone.
Again, the Buccaneer defense rose to the challenge as Brock Iddings picked off his second pass of the game.
Covington forced seven Arcanum turnovers on the night, five of those coming on interceptions - two by Studebaker and two by Iddings.
"Our defensive back did an outstanding job in pass coverage and coming up with big plays," Finfrock said. "Arcanum isn't known for its passing game, but they came out and challenged us tonight."
With the momentum back on the Covington side of the field, the Buccs put together one final scoring drive to close out the evening.
Arnold Thompson carried seven times for 37 yards on the drive, the final four yards coming on his first touchdown in a Buccaneer uniform.
"I wanted to see our offense close the game on a positive note," said Finfrock. "Arnold came in and ran very hard."
The Buccs accumulated 438 yards of total offense, 335 yards coming on the ground.
Meanwhile, the Buccaneer defense held Arcanum to 217 yards of total offense.
Covington looks to keep the momentum going as it travels to Mississinawa Valley next Friday.