|A.J. Ouellette runs for a first down against New Bremen.
|Troy Cron finds open field on the edge in the season opener against New Bremen.
AUGUST 24, 2012 - COVINGTON
A banged up Covington football team scratched and clawed its way to a 27-7 season-opening victory over New Bremen on Friday.
"This is a good win over a good football team and one we can build on," said Covington coach Dave Miller. "It is the first game and there are definitely a lot of things we need to work on to get to where we want to be, but overall I was pleased with our effort."
One thing in particular Covington needs to work on is protecting the football as it put the ball on the ground five times in the contest. Fortunately, only two of those resulted into turnovers.
"We put the ball on the ground way too much," Miller said. "We were fortunate we didn't give more of them away, but those things (fumbles) are correctable."
The biggest positive for Covington was its control of the clock at the offensive end. The Buccs ran 53 total plays to 44 for New Breman and out-gained the Cardinals 388 to 177 in total yards.
"I thought, outside of the fumbles of course, we moved the ball pretty well," said Miller. "Our backs ran hard and overall we did a decent job up front."
The backfield committee of Trent Tobias, A.J. Ouellette, Troy Cron, Kyler Deeter, Justin Williams and Josh Earick combined to rack up 331 yards on the ground, while New Bremen managed just 62.
And it all came behind of an offensive line consisting of primarily Brian Olson, Dylan Owens, Dalton Bordelon, Jordan Wolfe, Logan Perkins and Colton Murphy.
"That's big," said Miller of the advantage in rushing. "That's a credit to our O-line and the guys on the edge blocking downfield."
Covington received the opening kick and had a nice return negated with a block-in-the-back penalty that put the ball at the six.
But it took just six plays for Covington to march 94 yards - all coming on the ground - as Ouellette capped the effort with a 17-yard run.
"That was a big momentum boost for us," Miller explained. "We had the penalty there that set us back, but the kids responded by executing a really nice drive."
New Bremen tied the score at 7-7 late in the first quarter with a short touchdown run by Garrett Westerback, but Covington responded with another Ouellete run to take a 14-7 lead at the break.
"They got a couple of big plays on that one drive, but other than that we played pretty well defensively," Miller said. "I thought our secondary played a nice game and some of our young guys stepped up and played well."
And the defense set the tone in the second half, forcing a fumble and pulling down two interceptions - one each by Dylan Owens and Kyler Deeter.
"The difference there was our defensive front started getting some pressure," Miller explained. "I know on the one interception (by Owens) we got a hand on him as he threw the ball.
The thefts resulted in good field position and Covington took advantage for two more scores, another touchdown run by Ouellette and a scoring jaunt by Trent Tobias.
And it was the final touchdown drive that made Miller really happy.
"That drive we controlled the clock," he said. "I don't know for sure how long it was, but we used up a lot of time."
It was a 7:22 drive as Covington went 57 yards on 13 plays - once again, all on the ground.
Which capped a season-opening win for Covington.
"It's great to get a win, especially with the hall of fame ceremony and honoring all those people who played here," said Miller. "Now we'll work on getting healthy here and trying to be more consistent. We weren't very consistent and that's something we really need to focus on."
Covington travels to Mississinawa Valley next Friday.