September 8, 2006 COVINGTON | game stats |
|Seth Mohler pulls down one of his 6 catches on the night.
Although they have won their first two games to open the season, the Covington Buccaneers were looking to overcome a trend of starting slow in games as Miami East came to town for a Cross County Conference match-up.
In both of Covington's wins, New Bremen and Tri-County North drew first blood with early touchdowns forcing the Buccaneers to play from behind.
The Buccaneers wouldn't have to play from behind tonight as they jumped on the Vikings early for 14 first quarter points.
Covington's first score came on a 54-yard fumble return as junior linebacker Jordy Burelison stripped the ball from Sam Smallwood and raced untouched for the score.
"That was a heads up play by Burr (Burelison)," said Covington coach Kevin Finfrock. "It sort of set the tone for things to come."
Miami East's next possession concluded in a second turnover as senior Seth Mohler stepped in front of a Viking pass and set the Buccs up at the Miami East 35.
On the very next play senior quarterback Gene Studebaker connected with Mohler down the right sideline for a 35-yard touchdown. Tyler Kanet converted his second straight extra point to put Covington up 14-0.
"Our defense had some big plays tonight," continued Finfrock. "They gave our offense the ball in excellent field position tonight."
Anyone expecting the Vikings to role over was mistaken as Miami East came right back with a long, well executed scoring drive.
Starting at its own 42, Miami East move the ball down the field through the heart of the Covington defense. Smallwood capped the effort with a 23-yard scamper around the right side to close the gap to 14-7 early in the second quarter.
Covington waisted little time to take the momentum back on its next offensive possession.
With a mixture of running the ball with Corey Patty and Gene Studebaker and timely passing to Mohler and Andy Sparks, the Buccs methodically moved the ball into scoring position.
Studebaker capped the drive with a 4-yard run and Kanet's kick increased the margin to 21-7.
"That drive sort of took the wind out of them (Miami East) a little bit," described Finfrock.
After holding Miami East on its next possession, the Buccs put one more touchdown on the board before the half. This time Studebaker found Mohler over in the back of the end zone from 18 yards out to increased the Buccaneer lead to 28-7 at the half.
"Our offensive line stepped up tonight," Finfrock said. "I thought we controlled the line of scrimmage, which allowed us to execute the offense."
Just as the defense set the tone in the first half, the Buccaneer special teams made its mark on the opening kickoff as Skyler Mitchell pounced on a loose ball to give Covington another scoring opportunity.
Moments later Patty plowed his way from the one to increase the margin to 35-7 after Kanet's kick.
Miami East turned the ball over again on its next possession as Patty read the screen perfectly to pick off the pass.
Patty then closed out the scoring with a 2-yard run and a final Kanet kick made the score 42-7.
With the game well in hand the Buccaneers called off the dogs and turned the game over to the second unit in the fourth quarter.
"I'm pleased with our effort," concluded Finfrock. "It's nice to get off to a fast start because it gave our defense some confidence. We played some younger kids and they stepped up and played well."
Leading Covington in statistics was Gene Studebaker with 88 yards rushing on 13 carries. Studebaker also threw for 169 yards on 9 of 16 passing and 2 touchdowns. Seth Mohler pulled down 6 reception for 108 yards and 2 scores.
Miami East was led on the ground by Andrew Christian with 73 yards, while Sam Smallwood contributed for 57 yards on 14 carries.
Covington remains unbeaten at 3-0 and 2-0 in the CCC, while Miami East is still looking for its first win at 0-3 and 0-2 in the conference.
Covington travels to Twin Valley South next Friday, while Miami East hosts Tri-County North.