is Darren Clark on the Milton quarterback as he records a sack in the first full contact scrimmage of the season.
AUGUST 10, 2010 - COVINGTON
The first live contact scrimmage isn't always the most refined form of football, but that's to be expected considering coaches aren't going to open the playbook and the kids haven't had the necessary repetitions in practice to perfect their execution.
Regardless, the first scrimmage is great for high school football teams as they can hit someone in a different color jersey for the first time and the coaches can see how far their team has come through summer camps and the off-season conditioning programs.
And it was great for the Covington Buccaneers as they hosted Milton-Union on Tuesday, not great in terms of the number of touchdowns scored or given up - but great because the Buccs performed fairly well across the board.
It was also great for the Buccs because they did make mistakes that they can focus on correcting throughout the remainder of the summer.
In two ten-play series the Buccs failed to score but advancing the ball in both possessions, once to the Bulldog 25 before running out of plays.
"We were moving the ball and getting ready to punch it in, but put the ball on the ground," said Covington coach Dave Miller. " We made some mistakes, screwed some assignments up. But we did move the ball."
Defensively in the ten-play series, the Buccs gave up a long touchdown run to Milton scatback Jake Finfrock on the very first play of the series. But the Buccs regrouped and held the Bulldogs to minimal yardage over the next nine plays - forcing three fumbles in the nine plays.
"We did a better job of getting after them, but we have to move faster," Miller said. "To be a great defense like we think we can be, we have to move faster. It's a matter of attitude, learning how to do it. We're not there yet."
In down-and-distance situations, Milton scored again on Covington - once again on a long run by Jake Finfrock. The Bulldog junior broke free from two Buccaneer defenders who appeared to have him stopped dead in his tracks. Finfrock kept his balance and spun out of the attempted tackles, sparking memories of his father Kevin Finfrock, a former Buccaneer player and coach.
"Obviously we had the missed tackle, but everyone else just stop," said Miller. "Mike Molesky (a former Buccaneer player) was over on the sideline and he said the kids need to be nastier. That's well said."
Offensively Covington moved the ball well once again in the down-and-distance situations, scoring once on a long touchdown run by quarterback Jake Bitner. The Buccs did turn the ball over once via fumble and gave up a couple of sacks that stalled some momentum.
After the varsity players called it a day, the reserve units took to the field for two ten-play situations for each team.
And Covington scored on both of it's possessions, once on a halfback pass from freshman A.J. Ouellette to freshman Andrea Benedict. The second score came on a long touchdown run by Ouellette.
Defensively, the Covington reserves were stingy as ever, holding Milton in check throughout the junior varsity portion of the scrimmage. The Buccaneer reserves recorded four sacks, intercepted a pass and forced a fumble that was recovered by the defense.
"That's a good program with a great coach," Miller said. "The competition in our scrimmages is good. We did some good things and there are some things we need to work on."
At the end of the day Covington can hang its hat on the fact that it has some good game film to study its mistakes for correcting before the next scrimmage against Eaton. It can also look at the positive plays as a sign that the hard work is paying off.