COVINGTON Defense, Desire and determination spelled victory for Coach Larrie Tisdale's Covington Buccaneers at Smith Field last evening when they locked horns with Springfield Shawnee and toppled the Braves from the Mad River Valley League's unbeaten ranks with a convincing 20-6 triumph.
The victory, Covington's fifth in five outings, and third straight in league action, keeps the Buccaneers atop the MRVL, tied with Northeastern, the only other unbeaten league team.
In a bruising ground game, Covington took a 6-0 first quarter lead, were tied momentarily in the second period, but left the gridiron with a 12-6 halftime advantage. Shawnee's lone touchdown came in the second stanza, and from that time on, Tisdale's hungry bandits took charge.
Shawnee was held to four first downs, two on the ground, one in the air, and one by a penalty marker. The only time the Braves entered Covington territory in the second half was when they punted the pigskin; and it didn't stay there very long.
Terry Swallow's two-yard off-tackle smash put Covington on the scoreboard with 4:17 remaining in the first period. Ed Shilt's end sweep fell short to give the Buccaneers their 6-0 first quarter lead. Don Blessing scored next for Shawnee, but Herb Stevenson deflected the conversion kick and the score was knotted at 6-6.
With a minute and 42 seconds left in the first half, Brad Barker took a Shawnee punt on the Covington 48-yard line, dodged two tacklers, ran to the outside wall, turned on the afterburner and went into the endzone for six more points. Ed Shilt was stopped inches short on a points after charge, but Covington had command with a 12-6 halftime lead.
Fullback Bill Rudy dug out three yards to paydirt with 9:09 left in the game, Shilt bulled his way for the conversion and the 20-6 victory.
FROM THE PRESSBOX:
Covington rolled to 16 first downs to Shawnee's four. The Buccs went to the air four times with no completions and one interception. The Braves tossed nine passes, completed three and had two stolen. Both ball clubs were penalized 10 yards. Covington's defense was terrific, the line excelled. The Buccaneer backs were driving hard, deceptive ball handling was a kay. Weikert and Stevenson had excellent games. Tisdale's express rolls on, but next week they have upset minded Tecumseh in league action.