|Garrett Clark bursts through the New Bremen defense for a touchdown.
August 22, 2008 - COVINGTON
The Covington Buccaneers found themselves in unfamiliar territory after a 32-10 loss to New Bremen on Friday in the season opener for both teams.
It was Covington's first loss to start a season since a 7-6 defeat to Miami East in 1994.
"We knew coming in that New Bremen was a good football team and that they had some speed," said Covington coach Dave Miller. "We were prepared for that, but we didn't match their intensity for four quarters."
Playing with intensity and emotion for four quarters is something the young Buccaneer team is learning to do, which unfortunately takes time and experience for a team with just two seniors on the field for opening night.
Covington played without five starters, three of which who are seniors.
"We don't use that as an excuse," Miller explained. "It's just adversity you have to face and overcome."
After Covington failed to gain a first down on the first possession of the game, New Bremen waisted little time reaching the end zone on its first possession.
An off sides penalty by Covington on third-and-long extended the drive and New Bremen's speedster Corey Jutte made the Buccs pay with a 35-yard touchdown run.
Jutte scored three more times on the evening on a 53-yard run, a 60-yard punt return and a 2-yard run, three scores coming in the first half. He also ended the contest with 155 rushing yards on 18 carries.
"He's probably the fastest kid we'll see all year," Miller explained. "Still, we didn't do a very good job staying disciplined defensively in the first half."
Covington managed to break the ice with a 25-yard field goal by Logan Woloch to cut the score to 12-3 at the end of the first quarter and then reached the end zone with a 19-yard run by Garrett Clark to make the score 25-10 at the half.
"We didn't play very well offensively," said Miller. "We had a couple of nice runs there that got us into scoring position in the second quarter, but we hurt ourselves by putting the ball on the ground."
Covington fumbled five times in the contest, although only one was recovered by New Bremen.
The one turnover led to a touchdown in the third quarter after Covington had two solid defensive series on consecutive possessions.
"We were a totally different team in the second half," Miller said. "We played with so much more emotion in the second half than we did in the first half. We just had that one turnover there that they capitalized on."
Being in unfamiliar territory of having to play catchup in the second half, the Buccaneers never hung their heads and continued playing with effort and intensity until the final second ticked off the clock.
"I was very pleased with that," said Miller. "After playing so poorly in the first half the kids came out and played the way they are capable of in the second half. That's something we can build on."
Despite the defeat, Miller is confident his team will respond in the following weeks.
"We'll come back and learn from this," he continued. "We're inconsistent right now and that's a mark of a young team. We'll have to grow out of that and I'm confident these kids will because they work so hard."
The Buccs look to rebound next week at Bradford.