|Big Sam Christian and the Covington offensive line put together an impressive outing against the Trojans.
|Freshman A.J. Ouellette lays out in an attempt to block an Arcanum punt.
OCTOBER 22, 2010 - COVINGTON
The Covington Buccaneers have had some big wins this season in building an 8-0 recorded heading into Friday's contest against Arcanum. Still, the Buccs hadn't put a complete game together.
But if Friday's 48-7 trouncing Covington handed Arcanum is any indication, the Buccs are creeping closer to putting a complete game together.
"This was our best effort this season, by far," said Covington coach Dave Miller. "Especially on the defensive side of the ball. The kids played fast, physical and really got after it."
The Buccaneer defense set the tone on the first possession of the game as sophomore linebacker Dylan Owens got a hand on a Derrick Baker pass that fell into the hands of senior linebacker Cory Ely, who raced 47 yards behind a convoy of blockers into the end zone.
"Our defense set the tone," Miller said. "That's a team (Arcanum) that has had big plays all season long and we shut them down."
Even when the offense and special teams units turned the ball over, which happened on two straight possessions for the Buccs.
First, it was a muffed punt return that resulted in a turnover, but the Covington defense got the ball right back on a fumble recovery by Josh Boehringer.
On the very next play the Buccaneers went for the big play, but the pass was picked off by the Trojans.
"We had the two turnovers, which you don't like to see," said Miller. "But the good thing is the way our kids responded. They put the mistakes behind them and moved on."
Moving on meant a three-and-out by the Buccaneer defense and an offense that began to click on all cylinders behind the leadership of junior quarterback Isaiah Winston.
Playing without speedy scatback Tyler Noffsinger in the first half, Winston led the Buccs on a 55-yards scoring drive, 35 of those coming on his own touchdown run to push the Covington lead to 14-0 at the end of the first quarter.
"Isaiah had a good night," Miller praised of his junior quarterback who rushed for 103 yards on just nine carries and scored twice. "He had some nice reads and when he tucked it and ran, he made some very nice runs."
Things got worse for Arcanum in the second quarter as the Buccs held the Trojan offense to minus one yard in the frame.
Meanwhile, the Buccaneer offense continued to heat up as Jake Stewart found Corey Haines wide open behind the Trojan defense for a 25-yard scoring strike to push the lead to 20-0 as the extra point attempt was off the mark.
On Covington's next possession, which started at its own 35, the Buccs put together one of their most impressive drives of the season.
Two big runs by sophomore Kyler Deeter, a first down run by freshman A.J. Ouellette and some hard-nosed yards by senior fullback Cory Ely moved the ball methodically down the field.
The drive was fittingly capped by the field general, Isaiah Winston, who ran three yards for the touchdown to give Covington a 27-0 lead at the break.
"Other than the turnovers, you couldn't draw the first half up any better," Miller stated. "We held them to 57 yards of offense and moved the ball on offense."
Covington assumed the ball to open the second half, but suddenly found itself shooting itself in the foot with mistakes on the opening possession of the half.
Two penalties and a sack of Winston led to negative yards in the possession and a punt.
But the Buccs responded in a big way with three touchdowns on their next three possessions, all coming on the first play.
First, Tyler Noffsinger made his presence felt with a 50-yard scoring jaunt and then a 51-yard touchdown run.
Winston then ended his evening with a 51-yard touchdown run to give Covington a commanding 48-0 lead at the end of the third quarter.
Miller then turned the game over to his younger kids, who tried desperately to preserve the shutout.
It wasn't meant to be, however, as Arcanum scored on a 28-yard pass from Derrick Baker to Dallas Johnson to make the final score 48-7 in Covington's favor.
"This game was about the attitudes of the kids," Miller explained. "Our attitude tonight was where we needed it to be."
Which is what Miller has been waiting to see for nine weeks.
"We've put ourselves into a good position (being 9-0)," he continued. "But we can get better. We have to take this effort and build on it this week in practice."
In pursuit of a complete game.