|A BIG PLAY...by Chris (Cookie) Long as he raced 91 yards on a second quarter touchdown run.
OCTOBER 10, 2008 - COVINGTON
Nothing comes easy for the Covington Buccaneers as they had to come from behind if the fourth quarter for the second week in a row.
"This is the second week in a row we had to come back in the fourth quarter to get a win," said a pleased Covington coach Dave Miller after his team defeated a gritty Arcanum team 21-14. "For a young football team, that's huge. Two wins like that is something we can build on."
Trailing 14-13 after Arcanum's Kyle Fedderjohn scored on a one-yard touchdown run and a two-point conversion, the Buccs couldn't get anything done on their next possession and were forced to punt.
But the Covington defense was up to the task and gave the offense one last chance with under 4:00 to go in the game with the ball at the Covington 45.
A pass interference call on Arcanum moved the ball into Trojan territory and a third down run by Jake Bitner gave the Buccs first-and-goal at the nine with 2:50 left in the game.
Two plays later Garrett Clark, who had been held in check all night, powered his way up the middle from six yards out for the go-ahead touchdown.
Logan Woloch ran the two-point conversion to increase the lead to 21-14 with 2:10 left on the clock.
"They (Arcanum) did a good job of taking Garrett (Clark) away," Miller explained as Clark managed just six yards on five carries after running for 228 yards last week against Ansonia. "We tried some different things with the triple (option) and it didn't work the way I had hoped. A lot of that was due to how well Arcanum played tonight."
Still, the Buccs had other offensive weapons in Chris (Cookie) Long and Jake Bitner.
Long rushed for 128 yards on just eight carries, including a 91-yard touchdown run in the second quarter. The run tied Joe Schmidt's run in the 1979 state championship game for the second longest run in school history.
"That was a big run because it gave us the lead and some momentum heading into the second half," Miller said. "We had the interception there on our first drive that they converted into a touchdown. We didn't seem to have any fire after that for much of the first half."
Long, who returned from an injury a week ago, caught the Trojan defense off guard on the counter and raced virtually untouched down the home sideline.
"We got the big play and it seemed to spark us a little bit," Miller continued. "They (Arcanum) did some things defensively that we had to adjust to and the counter play was there."
Covington kept the momentum going in the second half as Bitner scooted his way in from one-yard out to increase the Buccaneer lead to 13-6 as the point-after failed.
Bitner ended the contest with a workman-like 67 yards on 18 carries.
"It was tough for the offenses to get a lot going because we both run a lot of the same stuff," Miller described. "They focused a lot on Jake and Garrett and made it tough for us to get those guys going."
Arcanum made its run at the go-ahead score midway through the fourth quarter as Fedderjohn spearheaded a 65-yard drive to pay dirt.
The Trojans drove the ball through the heart of the Buccaneer defense with A.J. Aikman and Fedderjohn carrying the load.
The senior quarterback capped the drive with the 1-yard score and the two-point conversion.
"They went up 14-13 and we go three-and-out on our next possession," Miller explained. "But we didn't hang our heads. Instead, the kids responded the way you'd hope by getting after it and making plays."
After a 57-yard Jordy Meyer punt pinned Arcanum inside its own twenty, the Buccaneer defense held the Trojans on three straight plays after an Arcanum penalty moved the ball inside the ten.
Arcanum's punt rolled out of bounds at the Covington 45, setting up the thrilling go-ahead touchdown by Clark with 2:10 to play.
The Trojans then waisted little time moving the ball into Covington territory as Fedderjohn connected with Brad Rosewell for 29 yards on the first play from scrimmage after the ensuing kick-off.
A 10-yard Fedderjohn pass to Josh Stone moved the ball to the Covington 36 with 1:36 left on the clock, but that was as close as Arcanum would get to the end zone.
The Buccaneer defense harassed Fedderjohn, sacking him twice and forcing an intentional grounding penalty to set up a fourth-and-long with under 50 seconds to play.
Josh Boehringer and Cody Swabb then ended matters with one final sack to give the Buccs the ball back with 36 second left on the clock.
Covington then took a knee on the final play to end the contest.
"This was a great game, very physical," said Miller. "They (Arcanum) came to play and so did we. We didn't play as well as we should have, but a lot of that was due to them. That's a good, young football team too."
The victory moves Covington to 6-2 overall and 6-1 in the CCC standings, while Arcanum drops to 5-3 on the season and 5-2 in league play.
The Buccs travel to Mississinawa Valley next Friday.