NOVEMBER 10, 2007 - TROY | game stats |
|Brock Iddings heads up the field for a first down.
The reaction of the players on both Covington and Lehman football teams indicated a game-winning field goal for the Buccaneers with 37 seconds left on the clock.
As the ball was in the air the Covington players raised their arms in celebration while the Lehman players stood silent for a split second.
Suddenly, the reaction of the two teams reversed as the official waved his arms from side-to-side, indicating the kick went wide left.
Lehman would then kill the clock to end the Buccs' season with an 8-7 loss.
"This is a tough loss," said a dejected Covington coach Dave Miller afterward as he tried to come up with an explanation on what had transpired. "I told Brock (Iddings) that this (adversity) is a part of life. There is no way he should blame himself for that. We wouldn't have even been where we were without Brock Iddings. He gave us his best effort and that's all I ask of these kids."
Miller also felt the game shouldn't have come down to a clutch kick.
"We shouldn't have been in that situation in the first place," he continued. "We had plenty of other opportunities to put the game away, but didn't take advantage of those opportunities. We win as a team and we lose as a team."
Covington was a benefactor to Lehman as all eight of the Cavaliers' points game on Buccaneer miscues.
The first two points came due to a snap that sailed over the head of Buccaneer Punter, Josh Boehringer in the second quarter. The result was a safety as the ball proceeded out the back of the end zone.
The final six points for Lehman came on an interception that was returned 60 yards for the score by Corbin Peltier with 7:00 left in the game.
"Those two plays hurt," said Miller. "On the interception, I should have kept the ball on the ground in that situation. The situation on the punt, that's the only time all season that has happened to us."
Lehman also had its share of miscues as it turned the ball over four times in the contest via fumble.
The Buccs were able to convert one of those into a touchdown as Jordy Burelison plowed his way in from the four in the first quarter.
Covington had four other scoring opportunities throughout the game, but one was stalled due to three straight penalties, one was the interception Lehman returned for a touchdown and the other two were field goal attempts that didn't hit the mark.
The Buccs racked up 258 yards of offense to Lehman's 173 yards.
Both teams had 149 rushing yards, but Covington held the advantage in the air, 109 to 24.
Covington's defense also held Lehman's bruising fullback Dan Jacob to just 71 yards on 20 carries. Much of that was due to the stellar play of the defensive line consisting of Teddy Hale, Josh Boehringer, Logan Hall, Jake Wise and Jordy Meyer.
Despite the defeat, Miller had high praise for his team - specifically the seniors.
"All those questions at the beginning of the year about how are we going to replace all those guys we lost like Gene Stdeubaker, Corey Patty and Seth Mohler - well, those questions were answered," said Miller. "That's a testament to these seniors because we got great leadership from them. These kids were not satisfied with mediocrity."
Miller also had praise for his underclassman and how the team gelled together as a team.
"These kids learned to play as a team," he continued. "We had a lot of younger kids step in there and play well. I think that experience is huge for the future. We've got a bright future her in Covington. What we have coming back is special."
What is special to Miller is how his players improve and learn lessons that can be used not only in football, but life.
"It's not the talented, but the effort a kid is willing to give that makes coaching fun," the coach said. "Anybody can coach and win with talent, but when you get the effort I got from these kids it makes it special. I get chills at practice watching these kids play hard every play with effort. Look at Corey Ely (a freshman). I'm using him as an example because the light came on in that kid's head midway through the season. He understood how to go out there and play hard every single play. That's why he was on the field on kick-offs. There are other kids too and that's what makes coaching rewarding."
After an 11-1 season in his first outing as head football coach at Covington, Miller is thankful for the opportunity.
"This (Covington) is a special community," he said. "I couldn't have asked for a better situation - a great tradition and outstanding coaches to work with. The parental and community support is amazing. This is a special place and I'm thankful to be here."
And Covington is thankful to have him.