|Austin Angle took advantage of both passes thrown his way, scoring twice for the Buccs.
|Isaiah Winston had a big night, rushing for 119 yards and a touchdown.
SEPTEMBER 16, 2011 - COVINGTON
Covington didn't need any extra motivation in a rivalry battle against Bradford on Friday, but the visiting Railroaders gave the Buccs just that prior to the opening kickoff by jumping up and down on the Buccaneer logo at midfield after warmups and then again right before kickoff.
"Our kids were motivated, but seeing that motivated them even more," said Covington coach Dave Miller. "We take great pride in our field and what our boosters group does to prepare the field and the kids didn't take kindly to that. It sure fired them up."
And Covington scored quickly on their first two possessions, first on a 45-yard halfback pass from Trent Tobias to Austin Angle and then a 47-yard run by Isaiah Winston.
Then, after forcing one of four Bradford fumbles, Covington struck again on a two-yard run by Alex Baskerville to push the lead to 21-0 early in the second quarter.
"That was big," said Miller in regards to getting out to a fast start. "We didn't do that last week and we found ourselves in a battle. Getting out fast was a focus in practice this week. That and playing 48 minutes of Buccaneer football."
In the past, a 21-0 deficit may have spelled doom for Bradford, but this is a different Railroader team - one that is tight as a unit and capable of battling its way out of a hole.
And it took little time for the Railroaders to get back in the game as Johnathan Barbee found a crease up the middle and raced 60 yards for the score. He then converted on the two-point conversion to cut the deficit to 21-8.
"They have a lot of speed and we knew that coming in," Miller said of Bradford. "They got a few plays on us and that (Barbee's run) was one of them."
Unfortunately for Bradford, the big plays didn't come often enough.
"Other than a couple of big plays, we played very well defensively," said Miller. "With what they try to do scheme wise and with their speed it can be a challenge. But I felt our kids did a nice job of pretty much shutting them down."
And it was another Bradford fumble that gave Covington a golden opportunity to put more points on the board before the half, but two pass attempts in the waning moments were all for naught as the score remained 21-8 at the break.
As fast as Covington started in the first half, the second half was much of the same as the Buccs held Bradford on the first possession of the third quarter and put the wheels in motion to increase the lead.
Trent Tobias capped an impressive drive by throwing his second touchdown pass to Austin Angle, this time from 11 yards out to push the lead to 28-8.
Things got worse for Bradford in the early moments of the fourth quarter as Covington scored once again on a three-yard run by Alex Baskerville to make the score 35-8.
And it was the running by committee that benefitted Covington as three backs nearly reached the 100-yard plateau with Alex Bakserville rushing to 139 yards, Isaiah Winston tallying 119 yards and Trent Tobias coming up two yards short with 98 yards.
"Our backs ran hard, but that's all because of our offensive line and our down-field blocking," Miller explained. "We did a nice job up front tonight."
Leading 35-8 with under 4:00 to go, Covington recovered yet another Bradford fumble and moved the ball inside the Railroader ten. Miller inserted his second unit and Bradford's T.J. Pullins scooped up a Buccaneer fumble and raced to the Covington seven.
Three plays later James Canan reached pay dirt from two yards out and then converted the two-point conversion to cut the Covington lead to 35-16 with 1:30 to go.
But the Railroader onside kick failed, leaving Covington nothing to do but kneel on the ball to kill the clock.
"This is a big win with the history and the rivalry we have with them," said Miller. "The kids had a good week of practice and it showed on the field."
Covington racked up 423 yards of offense and held the Railroaders to 178 yards.
The Buccs also forced five Bradford turnovers, which had a huge impact on the outcome.
"Our kids were hitting tonight," Miller stated. "They fumbled I think four times and all but one of those were from us gang tackling and hitting hard. This was a physical game."
Covington improves to 4-0 overall and 3-0 in the CCC and hosts Tri-County North next Friday, while Bradford drops to 2-2 and 1-2 in the CCC. The Railroaders look to rebound next week at home against Ansonia.