|Trent Tobias led the Buccs' offense at quarterback.
|Dylan Owens and the Buccs' defense was stellar all season.
NOVEMBER 17, 2012 - DAYTON
Covington coach Dave Miller has stressed all season the importance of "maxing out in your potential" to the Buccaneer football team.
And in spite of dropping a 20-0 contest to a very talented Coldwater team in the regional final, the Buccaneers accomplished just that.
"Definitely, without a doubt," said Miller when asked if his team maximized its potential. "These kids gave everything they had of themselves all season - and tonight for that matter - so yes, they maximized their potential."
Still, it hurts to lose to anybody, but to see a record-breaking season end to the same team for the second year in a row hurts even more.
But Miller gives credit to where credit is due - to the Coldwater Cavaliers.
"They are good, very good," Miller praised. "Their team speed is as good as it gets."
And it took Covington a while to get accustom to the speed Coldwater put on the field as the Cavaliers jumped out to a 14-0 lead in the first quarter on two Austin Bruns passes - one from six yards out to Jordan Chaphin and then from 50 yards away to Kaleb Seifering.
"Their quarterback is the real deal," Miller praised of Bruns. "When he gets out of the pocket and buys time, he's tough to defend. It's hard to cover their receivers when he buys time like that."
Still, Covington's defensive front did a whale of a job making life difficult for Bruns, sacking him eight times in the contest and hurrying several other throws.
But the Buccaneers couldn't catch a break in key situations - in particular a pass interference call on Covington on a fourth down play by Coldwater. A.J. Ouellete appeared to make a perfect play in knocking down the ball, but the penalty gave the Cavaliers a new set of downs and they converted with a one-yard run by Jordan Chapin to push the lead to 20-0 in the second quarter.
"That one hurt," said Miller in regards to the penalty. "I'm not into questioning calls because we don't make excuses. But there were some that sure didn't go our way."
Also not going Covington's way were the turnovers - three in the contest.
"We knew we had to protect the football if we wanted to have a chance at winning," said Miller. "You can't give that offense extra possessions or they'll make you pay."
Trailing 20-0 at the break, Covington found itself in a situation it hasn't faced all season - facing adversity.
And the Buccs responded with flying colors by shutting down the Coldwater offense to give its own offense a chance to get back into the game.
The Buccaneer offense then started to gain some continuity as it drove the ball into scoring position late in the third quarter only to see a scoring run by Ouellette called back due to a holding penalty.
"Their defense is the fastest defense we've faced all year," said Miller. "We knew coming in that they were fast, but we felt there were things we could take advantage of. We had opportunities, but we never could get the plays when we needed them."
Twice those opportunities came on passing plays, both to senior Kyler Deeter.
But the first throw was off the mark and on the second one Deeter was grabbed by the jersey as the ball fell incomplete.
And both of those opportunities came in the first half.
"Against a team like that you have to take advantage of every opportunity," Miller explained. "We had some opportunities, but we couldn't capitalize."
And when you can't capitalize on opportunities, teams like Coldwater are way too good to overcome.
"There's no shame in losing to a good football team," Miller said. "We gave them our best shot and I'm proud of the kids for that. Our kids played their hearts out."
In the end, all that matters is the Buccs maxed out in their potential.