August 9, 2008 - EATON
|Chris Long hauls in a touchdown pass from Jake Bitner.
What the Covington Buccaneers found out in the first contact scrimmage against Eaton on Saturday was they have the potential to be a very good football team. But that potential can only be fulfilled if they take care of the little things first - things like playing with intensity and emotion, executing the assignments and wrapping up when trying to make tackles.
"We did some good things and some bad things," said Covington coach Dave Miller. "One thing we didn't do was come over here with intensity and emotion. We've got to have that to compete with good football teams like this (Eaton)."
The Buccs were competitive and showcased some game-breaking capabilities with long touchdown runs by Logan Woloch and Jake Bitner and a long touchdown pass from Bitner to Chris Long.
But the Buccs never really put together a long sustaining drive until the final series before the clock ran out to end the scrimmage. That drive began with under 2:00 left and the Buccs converted on two fourth downs to keep the ball moving and maintain possession.
Other than that, the Buccs relied on the big play to reach the end zone.
"If we can score on a big play, we'll take it," Miller explained. "But that's not what Covington football is all about. We're about controlling the ball with time consuming drives and winning the battle up front both physically and mentally. We didn't have that consistency today and it goes back to playing with intensity and emotion."
The Buccaneer defense had some positives and negatives as well, which will be addressed in practice.
The biggest negatives were missed tackles and missed assignments, which resulted in three touchdowns for Eaton. On each of the touchdown runs Buccaneer defenders had the ball carrier stopped in the backfield for no gain, only to see the runner break loose for the score.
"We have to do a better job of wrapping up," Miller said. "Again, it goes back to us not playing with intensity and finishing the play. We'll work on that."
A positive for the Buccaneer defense were the seven turnovers it created on the day - five in the two ten-play series and two more in two quarters of a game sequence. One of the turnovers went for a touchdown on a Chris Long interception return. The Buccs even had two more opportunities at turnovers, but balls were dropped on interception attempts.
"We like the turnovers," said Miller. "That means we have guys in position to make plays. We just have to take care of some of the other things."
In all, it was a good experience for the Buccaneers as they found out what they need to work on. Mistakes were made and they are all correctable.
Covington has two more weeks of practice and next weeks scrimmage against Versailles to correct the mistakes and be ready for a talented New Bremen team on August 22.