|Garrett Clark came up big with an 82-yard touchdown run in the Buccs' win.
September 4, 2009 - BRANDT
The celebration was short lived for the Covington Buccaneers after capturing the first win of the season Friday over Bethel 35-18.
"There wasn't much of a celebration at all, because the kids were not very pleased with the way they played," said Covington coach Dave Miller. "Yes, they were happy to get the win, but they wanted to play better than they did tonight."
It was a reaction from the kids that pleased Miller because it shows his team has higher expectations of themselves.
"And I'm fine with them (the kids) not being satisfied," he continued. "They have lofty goals for themselves and they understand that if we are going to do the things we want to do than we need to play better than we did tonight."
It wasn't like Covington played poorly by any means as it racked up 401 total yards and scored 35 points on the evening.
But it was the mistakes that bothered the team, mistakes that cost Covington a long touchdown on a kickoff return and another potential score right before the half when the Buccs had the ball on the Bethel two.
"We made some mistakes in critical situations that cost us some points," said Miller. "And the kids aren't happy about it."
Still, the Buccaneers had too much firepower as they built a 21-6 halftime lead on a 58-yard run by Jake Bitner, a 22-yard run by Isaiah Winston and a 97-yard kickoff return by Tyler Noffsinger.
Garrett Clark then opened the second half by taking the kickoff 92 yards in for an apparent touchdown, but a clipping penalty negated the touchdown.
Bethel's defense then came up big by holding Covington on three straight plays and received excellent field position on a poor punt.
The Bees took advantage with a 12-yard touchdown pass to cut the margin to 21-12.
But Clark didn't waist any time finding the end zone on the Buccs' next possession. The senior burst through the middle of the Bethel defense and raced 82 yards for the score to push the margin to 28-12 midway through the third. Clark ended the contest with 161 yards on 25 carries.
Bethel's Daniel Yates followed with a 57-yard jaunt in the closing moments of the third to cut the margin once again, 28-18.
But Covington put the game away with a time consuming drive in the final frame that was capped by a 20-yard run by Tyler Noffsinger.
"We improved in a lot of areas, but I really believe - and the kids believe - we are better than we've showed in our first two games," Miller stated. "We have some things we need to shore up."
In particular, big plays have hurts the Buccs.
"We've been giving up too many big plays," Miller agreed. "We have to shore up our defense."
Even though it was a solid effort at the offensive end, Miller feels things can be better there as well.
"We're not cooking on all cylinders offensively either," he said. "We're improving, but we're not there yet."
It was an effort his team can build on, however.
"In spite of all that, it is a big win," Miller said. "There are a lot of positive things we can take from this game. We did move the ball pretty good and our special teams played well."
But most importantly the Buccs evened their record at 1-1.