|A SCARY SIGHT...is seeing #50 Josh Boehringer being helped off the field.
AUGUST 29, 2008 BRADFORD
It was an old fashion physical contest between neighboring rivals Covington and Bradford on Friday with the visiting Buccaneers pulling away in the second half for a 35-6 victory.
"It was a physical game," said Covington coach Dave Miller. "Our guys were physical and they were too. The kids went at it tonight."
It took a toll on the Buccaneers as two key performers went down with injuries in the first half - sophomores Josh Boehringer and Jake Bitner.
Boehringer's injury came late in the first quarter as he took a knee from teammate Teddy Hale while making a tackle in kick coverage, while Bitner was injured at the conclusion of a 62-yard run in the second quarter.
"We already had five guys out coming into the contest and we lost those two in the first half tonight," Miller said. "But we had some young guys step right in and contribute."
Those young guys were three freshman and a sophomore.
"At one time we had three freshman on the offensive line," Miller explained. "Brandon Powell, Sam Christian and Darren Clark played very well."
Powell also moved in at the nose in replacement of Boehringer on the defensive side of the ball.
"He (Powell) did a nice job filling in at the nose," Miller praised. "That's a tough spot for a freshman, but he came in and did a great job for us."
With Bitner's absence, fellow sophomore Jake Stewart came in and gave the Buccaneer offense a spark.
On the first play after Bitner went to the sideline, Stewart pitched to Logan Woloch, who threw a halfback pass to sophomore Corey Haines for a 28-yard touchdown.
Then Stewart opened the second half with a 31-yard touchdown run on the opening possession, weaving his way through the Bradford defense for the score.
"I feel comfortable with Jake in the lineup," said Miller. "He's come a long way since his freshman year. He came in and did a nice job.'
It was obvious early that Bradford was a much improved team from a year ago as the Railroaders drove the ball into Covington territory on the opening possession.
But a Railroader fumble stalled the drive and gave Covington its first opportunity on offense.
The Buccs, however, gave the ball right back to Bradford on their first offensive play and Bradford took advantage on a 24-yard scoring strike from Trey Sanderson to Rodney Abney.
The 6-0 lead was short lived, however, as Logan Woloch returned the ensuing kickoff deep into Bradford territory. A few plays later Bitner dove over from the one and Covington took a 7-6 lead after the point-after.
Covington scored again on its next possession as Bitner found junior Jordy Meyer wide open down the left sideline for the score from 23 yards out. Woloch's kick increased the margin to 14-6.
While the Buccaneer defense stiffened, the Covington offense continued to move the ball in the second quarter.
Backed up at its own seven, Covington quickly moved the ball to the Bradford 31 on a 62-yard run by Bitner.
The very next play Woloch connected with Haines for the touchdown and a 21-6 half time lead.
Covington then extended its lead to 28-6 on its first possession of the second half as Stewart scored from 31 yards out.
Shortly thereafter Garrett Clark capped the evening with a 10-yard touchdown run and a 35-6 victory.
"This is a great team win," Miller said. "You can't say it any other way. We had some injuries and some guys out of the lineup and were able to overcome the adversity."
Garrett Clark was the workhorse for the Buccs as he tallied 153 yards on 26 carries.
Trey Sanderson led Bradford with 117 passing yards on 10 completions.
The Buccs gained 341 yards of total offense and held the Railroaders to just 17 yards rushing and 137 total yards.
Covington improves to 1-1 overall and 1-0 in the CCC, while Bradford drops to 0-2 and 0-1.