|HARD TO SWALLOW...is seeing another team celebrating a victory on the Buccaneer logo at midfield.
SEPTEMBER 12, 2008 - COVINGTON
Miami East has been pointing to the fourth week of the 2008 season as the one they wanted to put into the win column against the Covington Buccaneers, a team the Vikings haven't beaten since 1994.
And Miami East did just that by storming out to a 28-0 half time lead and holding off a second half attempt at a comeback by Covington for a 28-7 win.
"They (Miami East) are a good football team," said Covington coach Dave Miller. "Give them credit, they came in here and earned a victory tonight."
Things unraveled for Covington in the first quarter as Miami East took its opening drive and scored on a 48-yard pass on the third play of the game.
On the play Viking quarterback Justin Baker connected with Dalton Saylor down the left sideline on third an long.
"We had them in some long yardage situations on a number of occasions and then gave up a big play," explained Miller. "There were some missed assignments and we need to correct that."
Covington fumbled on its first possession, giving the ball back to Miami East in Buccaneer territory.
The Vikings took advantage with a short field with a field goal attempt, which was good.
But Covington was called for roughing the kicker and the Vikings elected to take the points off the board and accept the ball with first and goal at the three.
Sam Smallwood then plowed his way into the end zone on the very next play to put Miami East up 14-0 after the successful point-after.
"You can't spot a good team like Miami East 14 points," said Miller. "But instead of coming back harder, we sort of laid down the rest of the half."
And the Vikings took advantage by scoring two more touchdowns by half time.
First, Smallwood scored on a one-yard run to take advantage of a second Buccaneer fumble.
Then Baker connected with Tyler Dunivan out of the backfield on a 29-yard scoring strike to make the half time score 28-0.
"We fell behind 14-0 and fumbled the ball on our next possession after getting good field position," Miller described. "We made some mistakes early and put ourselves into a hole and then started to hang our heads a little bit."
The Buccaneers did respond on the opening drive of the second half as sophomore quarterback Jake Bitner connected with Logan Woloch from 15 yards out to cut the margin to 28-7.
Covington then got the ball right back with a successful on-side kick and moved the ball to the Miami East nine yard line with first-and-goal.
But a penalty and a fumbled pitch moved the ball back and the Buccs eventually had to settled for a 40-yard field goal attempt, which fell short.
It would be the last time Covington would threaten as the Viking defense made the 28-7 score hold up until the clock ticked zero.
"I'm pleased with the way we came out in the second half, but we didn't sustain the effort," Miller said. "We're a young team that's still learning what it means to play hard every snap for an entire four quarters."
And Miller won't use youth as an excuse as he is a firm believer in effort and execution - regardless of who is on the field.
"We didn't execute the way we needed to," he continued. "We didn't control the line of scrimmage the way we needed to. We gave them too many big plays on the edges and we made too many mistakes."
Things Miller and the young Buccs look to correct before next week's game at Twin Valley South.