|Garrett Clark and the Buccaneer backs had little room to roam.
OCTOBER 16, 2009 - COVINGTON
The Ansonia Tigers released ten years of frustration on the Covington Buccaneers with a second half shellacking and a 35-7 victory on the Buccs' home field.
It was the first victory for Ansonia since a 1999 playoff victory over the Buccs.
"Give them a lot of credit for out playing us and out coaching us," said Covington coach Dave Miller. "They came in here and whipped us."
Covington's difficulty in protecting the football in big games ultimately became the downfall once again. The Buccs fumbled a total of five times and lost four of those muffs compared to one turnover by Ansonia.
"We talked about it (protecting the ball) before we went out there tonight," Miller said. "You can't beat yourselves with mistakes and we continue to do that in big games."
The Buccs turned the ball over via fumble on each of they first three possessions, the most critical on the opening possession when Covington was within twenty yards of the end zone.
"That (fumble) hurt," said Miller. "If we score on that opening drive we have them on their heals. We were moving the ball right down the field. Instead of putting it in the end zone we turn the ball over and give them the momentum."
Still, the Buccaneer defense was able to keep the high powered Tiger offense in check until a Jordan Gilbert four-yard run capped a short drive after the third Covington turnover.
Covington was able to respond on its next possession as sophomore quarterback Isaiah Winston broke loose for a 53-yard touchdown run to tie the score at 7-7.
Ansonia responded before the half with a 31-yard touchdown strike from Derek Bubeck to Brandon Liette to take a 14-7 lead at the break.
"With all the turnovers, we were still in the game at the half," Miller explained. "I thought if we could get a stop there to begin the second half the whole complection of the game would change in our favor."
Which is what Covington did as it forced a Tiger fumble at the Buccaneer ten as Ansonia appeared to be heading in for the score.
But Covington shot itself in the foot again as it fumbled the ball back to Ansonia just two plays later, giving the Tigers the ball at the fifteen.
A few plays later Dusty Holcomb plowed in from the three to increase the Ansonia lead to 21-7.
"That (the last fumble) really hurt," said Miller. "They went up 21-7 and we really didn't do anything after that. We dropped a wide open pass that could have been a touchdown and then they scored again. It was pretty much down hill from there."
As Covington kept stalling on offense, the Tigers continued to score with two more touchdowns in the fourth quarter.
First, Holcomb capped another impressive time consuming drive with a one-yard run and then Jordan Gilbert put the icing on the cake for the Tigers with another one-yard score in the waning moments.
It all capped a dominating second half for the Tigers, who recorded 14 second half first downs to Covington's four.
"I thought we had a good game plan coming into the game, but we just didn't execute," Miller said. "We had a lot of chances, but we hurt ourselves once again with mistakes."
Embarrassed with a 35-7 shellacking on their home field, the Buccs will have to find a way to rebound and improve on their 5-3 record in the final two weeks of the season.
"Nobody likes to get beat 35-7 on your home field," Miller concluded. "We have two more tough games and we have to find a way to overcome this adversity and move forward. We're at a crossroads and we have to re-evaluate where we stand and move forward."
The Buccs will look to right the damaged ship this week as they prepare to travel to Arcanum next Friday.