|Jake Stewart gets set to throw a 55-yard touchdown pass to A.J. Ouellette..
OCTOBER 15, 2010 - ANSONIA
The Covington Buccaneers beat previously unbeaten Ansonia 28-21 on Friday to preserve their own unblemished record, but there's still a lot of room for improvement as the Buccs have yet to put a complete game together.
"The good things is we are 8-0 and still have room for improvement," said Covington coach Dave Miller. "We haven't put it all together yet, but we're getting there."
For one quarter, Covington looked unreal in building a 21-0 lead.
The Buccs forced Ansonia to punt on its first possession and then scored on a 55-yard touchdown pass from Jake Stewart to A.J. Ouellette on the third offensive play.
A few moments later Tyler Noffsinger intercepted a Derek Bubeck pass and returned it to the five, where quarterback Isaiah Winston ran the ball in for the second touchdown.
Covington forced Ansonia to punt once again and then Cory Ely broke free up the middle for a 42-yard touchdown run to push the lead to 21-0.
"Obviously, the 21-point lead was big, but the bad thing is you know it's not going to be that easy the rest of the way," Miller said. "I think we had a little letdown after that."
And Ansonia capitalized behind the running of Brandon Liette.
The Ansonia homecoming king got the Tigers rolling with two big runs and then capped the drive with a one-yard plunge into the end zone to cut the margin to 21-7.
This lifted the Tiger defense as it held the Buccaneers scoreless throughout the remainder of the half to keep the deficit manageable at the break, 21-7.
"Give Ansonia credit, they came after us," Miller praised of the Tigers. "When we got the big lead, they (Ansonia) just kept playing hard."
And it led to another Tiger touchdown in the third quarter on a five-yard run by Jordan Gilbert to cut the margin to 21-13 as the point-after failed.
A Covington offense that shot itself in the foot with untimely penalties for two straight quarters finally came to life in the fourth quarter. Beginning at its own ten with 9:30 left, Covington moving the ball methodically down the field, eating nearly 7:00 off the clock. Cory Ely capped the drive with a 2-yard run to push Covington's lead to 28-13 with just under 3:00 left in the game.
"That last dive was huge," said Miller. "Our backs ran hard and our offensive line controlled the line of scrimmage. That was a big drive."
Ansonia went to work with a nice return near midfield, but couldn't pick up large chunks of yardage against the Buccaneer defense.
Fortunately for the Tigers, a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty by Covington on a third down play kept the drive alive and moved the ball inside the Buccaneer twenty.
A few plays later Liette scored from seven yards out and the two-point conversion pass from Derek Bubeck to Taylor Young cut the margin to 28-21.
With just 30 seconds left on the clock the Tigers attempted an onside kick, but it never went the 10 yards needed to attempt a recovery.
Covington took a knee to end the contest, handing Ansonia its first loss, while improving to 8-0.
"This kids played hard tonight," said Miller. "It was a team effort, a great team win against a very good football team."
The game was won for Covington at the line of scrimmage, where the Buccs averaged 6.2 yards per carry (40 for 249) to just 3.6 for Ansonia (53 for 190).
Covington also threw for 104 yards to just 9 for the Tigers and held a 353 to 199 advantage in total offense.
In the end it led to a 28-21 victory and a spot at the top of the CCC standings for the Buccs (8-0, 7-0).
Covington returns home next week against Arcanum.