OCTOBER 19, 2007 - COVINGTON | game stats |
The Covington Buccaneers took one step closer to a Cross County Conference Championship and a home playoff game with a 49-21 victory over Mississinawa Valley, Friday.
But, there wasn't much of a celebration after a "Senior Night" victory as the Buccaneers knew they didn't play their best.
"The kids aren't happy with that performance," said Covington coach Dave Miller. "They know they are better than that. That's good because they'll come in ready to correct the mistakes because they have higher expectations of themselves."
Covington dominated the first half as it built a 43-14 half time lead.
But it was a 44-yard touchdown run by Mississinawa's Nathan Brunk and four straight fumbles to begin the second half that spoiled and otherwise solid effort.
"That's why it's important to play at a high level on every play," Miller said. "We scored quickly and then lost our focus on that run by Brunk. Then we didn't hold onto the ball in the second half. It was all a lack of focus and the kids know that."
The Buccaneers got on the scoreboard first thanks to a blocked punt by Teddy Hale. Jordy Burelison scooped up the gift and ran 15 yards for the score.
After Brunk's run tied the score at 7-7, Mississinawa Valley couldn't stop the Buccaneer offense for the remainder of the half.
Bill Dickey scored on runs of 25 yards, 20 yards and 2 yards, while Brock Iddings broke loose for a 59-yard touchdown run.
Jordy Burelison closed out the half with a 31-yard run as the Buccaneer starters appeared to be in for a short evening.
"We played very well in the first half offensively," Miller explained. "Defensively we had the mental lapse on the one play, but other than that we played well."
A horrendous third quarter followed as Covington's mistakes gave Mississinawa new life.
One of the four turnovers resulted in a 17-yard touchdown pass from Heitkamp to Brunk, but the Buccaneer defense prevented any further damage.
"The defense picked it up in the second half," said Miller. "They (Mississinawa) had some momentum, but the defense stepped up."
Covington's offense finally responded in the early moments of the fourth quarter as Bill Dickey hooked up with Chris Long for a 31-yard touchdown strike.
"It's good that we were able to respond offensively to the adversity," Miller said.
With a huge match-up with Bethel in the regular season finale, Covington is hoping it carries over to next week.
"We're looking forward to that game because we know Bethel will be ready to play," Miller said. "I know the kids will be up for that test."
To capture a victory over the Bees and assure a home play-off game, the Buccs will have to find a way to eliminate the mistakes.
"It's focus," Miller concluded. "You can't ease up at all. That's a habit that will eventually get you beat. The good thing is we won 49-21 and the kids aren't happy at all."