|Alex Fries and the Buccaneer defense smothered Viking backs all night.
|Nathan Blei runs for a first down Friday night against Miami East.
OCTOBER 11, 2013 - CASSTOWN
Covington coach Dave Miller is a perfectionist - a stickler for the finest details - an artist when it comes to the game of football. The football field is his canvas and his kids are his paint and brushes.
And his kids painted a masterpiece Friday night in a 34-0 victory over Miami East in a battle between two unbeaten teams.
"We executed in all phases of the game," said a very pleased Covington coach. "Offense, defense and special teams - we played very well in all phases."
To gain a better understanding of the Buccs' masterpiece, one has to understand Miller's vision. It's all about controlling the clock, protecting the football, executing and maxing out in effort. It may not thrill those who want to watch a highlight reel for 48 minutes, but it's beautiful in the eyes of the beholder.
"We didn't have any turnovers, we controlled the line of scrimmage and the clock and then we converted on all of our field goals and extra points," Miller said. "This was a complete team effort and a complete team win."
Covington's execution on offense was apparent in the first half as it held the ball for nearly 16 minutes throughout the entire first two quarters.
It resulted into two A.J. Ouellette field goals from 38 and 32 yards out to give Covington a 6-0 halftime lead.
"We moved the ball well," said Miller of the first half. "We had a couple of penalties that hurt us, but we were able to control the clock and the line of scrimmage."
Which wore down the Viking defense and suddenly the five and six yard gains started going for big chunks of yardage in the second half, including a 73-yard touchdown run by A.J. Ouellette to push the Buccaneer lead to 13-0.
"That touchdown there to start the second half was big," Miller said. "We were grinding it out and sooner or later we felt we were going to bust one. A.J. found a crease, broke a few tackles and he was gone."
It opened the flood gates as Covington forced a Viking fumble on the ensuing possession and Ouellette followed with a 56-yard run to make the score 20-0.
Forced to put the ball in the air to try and score quickly, the Vikings went three plays and out in just over 1:00 and surrendered the ball back to Covington via a punt.
The Buccs then put together a time-consuming drive that ate nearly 5:00 off the clock as Ouellette capped the effort with a five-yard plunge to push the Buccaneer lead to 27-0 with one quarter to play.
"When you can do that, chew up clock, against a very good team like Miami East, you'll win a lot of football games," Miller said.
Covington didn't only chew up clock, it made life difficult for the Viking offense by playing physical, aggressive defense. The Buccs held Miami East to just 26 yards in the second half and 109 total yards for the entire game.
"We got after it defensively," praised Miller. "They got us on a couple of jet sweeps and hit a couple of passes, but for the most part our defense shut them down. Chance Setters played a heck of a game tonight."
While the defense was pitching a shutout, the offense put the final touches on an outstanding evening by capping one last time-consuming drive with a one-yard run by Bobby Alexander to make the final score 34-0.
It was the third straight season Covington shut out the Vikings, an accomplishment Miller takes pride in due to the caliber of Miami East and its coaching staff.
"That's special," he said. "Coach Current always has his kids ready to play and we always know we are going to see their best. Their kids always play us hard, so keeping them off the scoreboard says a lot about our kids."
As does executing in all phases of the game, including special teams.
"Our special teams was big tonight," Miller continued. "We had a fumble recovery, two field goals and all of our extra points were good. We were successful on a fake punt and our return coverage was really good too."
It was a "Dave Miller Masterpiece".