|Freshman Brock Murphy carries the ball for a first down in the second half.
OCTOBER 14, 2011 - NEW PARIS
The theme all week for the Covington Buccaneers was staying focused and playing hard for 48 minutes.
And the Buccs did just that, putting together a solid week of practice and carrying that effort to the field Friday night in a 70-0 win over National Trail.
"We knew their (National Trail's) record and sometimes the focus can waver a bit, especially coming off some of the big games we've had the first half of the season," said Covington coach Dave Miller. "But the focus of our kids never wavered one bit. We had a good week of practice and it carried over to tonight."
The focus carried over from the opening kickoff as Covington recovered a Blazer fumble and scored on the very next play on an eight-yard run by Alex Baskerville.
National Trail then fumbled the ball over to the Buccs again on the ensuing kickoff and with just 12 seconds into the game Trent Tobias put Covington up 14-0 on a one-yard run.
The Buccs then forced a three-and-out on the next possession and Baskerville scored from 25 yards out, which made it 21-0 with less than 2:00 off the clock.
"We did what good teams are suppose to do," Miller said. "We came out and took it to them."
The onslaught continued as Covington scored twice more before the first quarter ended, both coming on Isaiah Winston runs, one from 11 yards out and the other on a 67-yard run.
Leading 35-0 to start the second quarter, the Buccs kept the pedal to the medal - scoring three more times before the half.
First, Kyler Deeter capped a Buccaneer drive with a two-yard run to push the lead to 42-0.
Baskerville then followed with a 36-yard scoring jaunt and a 51-yard dash to push Covington's lead to 56-0 at the break. The junior fullback ended his night early - along with the rest of the starters - with 147 yards on eight carries and four touchdowns.
Winston tallied 91 yards on three carries, scoring twice, while Tobias had 90 yards on five carries and a touchdown - all coming in a 364-yard rushing effort for the Buccs in the first half.
"We talk all the time about challenging ourselves, just see how hard you can go," Miller explained. "I felt the kids went hard tonight and there wasn't a lack of effort at all."
The effort continued in the second half as the junior varsity kids took to the field.
Covington's youngsters moved the opening possession of the second half to the Blazer five, but turned the ball over on downs.
Two plays later the defense got into the scoring act as Steven Blei recovered a Blazer fumble in the end zone to push Covington's lead to 63-0.
After stuffing National Trail on the next possession, the Buccs put together an eight-minutes drive that went into the fourth quarter. Sophomore quarterback D.J. Jennings capped the effort with a six-yard run to make the score 70-0.
"We are challenging each other in practice and a lot of that has to do with the younger kids pushing the guys ahead of them," said Miller. "It was nice to see those kids reward themselves with a nice effort in the second half."
And the effort was dominant throughout as Covington racked up 456 yards of offense - all on the ground - while National Trail tallied just 17 yards of offense and one first down.
Covington also forced six Blazer turnovers, four via fumble and two on interceptions and held a 25-1 advantage in first downs.
"I'm pleased with our focus and effort tonight," Miller stated. "The kids are starting to understand that this is the way we do things - go hard on every play no matter who we play."
It is the recipe for success as Covington improves to 8-0 on the season and 7-0 in the CCC.
But Miller and the Buccs know things get tougher next week with Ansonia coming to town.
"Ansonia will be another challenge," said Miller. "They will be ready to play, so we'll have to pick it up another notch this week in practice and be prepared to play hard for 48 minutes of Buccaneer football."
Which is the only way the Buccs know how to do things.