|A.J. Ouellette has room to run in the first half against Mississinawa Valley.
|Former Buccaneer great Logan Brown gave a pre-game speach and thenwas honored with induction into the Hall of Fame.
SEPTEMBER 2, 2011 - COVINGTON
There is an athletic tradition at Covington High School of high standards and the school honored its treasured past Friday with the 29th annual "Hall of Fame" ceremony during the home opener against Mississinawa Valley.
And the 2011 version of the Covington Buccaneers made those who came before them proud with a dominating 58-0 victory over Mississinawa to improve to 2-0 on the young season.
"We focused on the fact that we had so many great Covington athletes here for the Hall of Fame," said Covington coach Dave Miller. "Logan (Brown) came in and talked to the kids about Buccaneer Pride and what it means. The kids took that to heart and they took it to the field."
It took Covington just three plays to set the tone as A.J. Ouellette connected with Sam Earick on a 53-yard touchdown strike on a halfback pass.
The defense, which held Mississinawa Valley to just six yards of offense throughout the entire contest, forced the first of five Blackhawk turnovers on the ensuing possession as senior Darren Clark knocked the ball loose and Cole Owens fell on the free pigskin.
"We played outstanding defensively," Miller praised. "It was a total domination on our part. We need that same effort from here on out because it will get tougher."
Moments later Alex Baskerville plowed his way in from five yards out to push the Covington lead to 14-0.
Three offensive plays later by Mississinawa resulted in a punt to give the Buccs the ball on the Blackhawk side of the field.
Covington methodically drove the ball inside the five as time ran out on the first quarter, but Baskerville dove in from four yards out on the first play of the second frame.
Steven Blei's third consecutive point-after increased the lead to 21-0.
"We're coming off the ball," Miller said. "Yes, we can get better, but we're definitely getting there."
While not having any luck on the ground, Mississinawa went to the air on its next possession and Darren Clark broke through the line to sack quarterback Dane Blumenstock and force another fumble. This time Justin Williams scooped up the football and raced seven yards for the score and a 28-0 lead.
Covington put three more points on the board before the half on a 24-yard field goal by Blei.
"We had some penalties there that set us back and those were on me," Miller explained. "We were trying to run the play clock down as far as we could and got some delay of game penalties. That's something we'll work on as a coaching staff."
Leading 31-0 to start the second half, Covington continually rotated fresh players in and out of the lineup, but the results were the same.
Baskerville broke loose from 33 yards out to cap a long, sustained drive and push the lead to 38-0.
Looking to work the clock on its next possession, Covington fumbled inside its own 30 and Mississinawa took advantage with its longest play of the contest, a 20-yard pass and catch to put the ball inside the Buccaneer ten.
But the Bucc defense held on four straight plays as Troy Cron intercepted a fourth down attempt at the one.
"That (the defensive stop) says a lot about our kids," said Miller. "We're up 38-0 and it would be easy to let up a little, but the kids were not about to let them score. That attitude is what we need to become the team we think we can be."
On the very next play Buccaneer quarterback Trent Tobias, who was under center in place of injured starter Isaiah Winston, made a little history by racing 99 yards for the score. The run by Tobias tied Kent Thompson's 99-yard run in 1965 against Tipp City.
"For what we ask our quarterbacks to do, Trent played very well," complimented Miller of his backup quarterback. "On the touchdown, Trent made the perfect read. They clamped down on the fullback and Trent kept it and took off."
The fireworks for Covington was far from over, even with primarily freshman and sophomore on the field.
Freshman Josh Earick carried nine times for 76 yards and scored on a 36-yard run to cap an impressive drive by the younger kids.
Seconds later, another freshman Robert Gengler scooped up a Mississinawa fumble and raced 26 yards for his first varsity touchdown and cap a 58-0 win.
"I'm happy for the younger kids because they earned that," said Miller. "They had a great week of practice on the scout team and then came out here and played well. I like what I see from our younger kids."
Covington racked up 523 total yards on the night and allowed just six.
Three backs racked up over 100 yards rushing with Tobias leading the way with 149 yards on eight carries. Baskerville had 113 yards on 16 carries, while Ouellette totals 106 yards on 12 carries - all in the first half.
"We played well tonight, but we have to keep getting better," Miller explained in summarizing his team's effort. "That's our mindset right now - get better. Next week is another challenge we have to prepare for. We'll focus on correcting our mistakes and becoming a better football team than we were tonight."
Covington (2-0) travels to Bethel (2-0) next Friday.