|Tyler Noffsinger outruns the Panthers on a 90-yard kickoff return for the score.
|A.J. Ouellette looks upfield for room to run against Twin Valley South.
OCTOBER 1, 2010 - WEST ALEXANDRIA
The Covington Buccaneers have become accustom to drama as two of their games have been decided on the final play and another in the final minutes.
But there was little drama for Covington on Friday as the Buccaneers jumped out to a 33-0 halftime lead cruised to a 40-6 victory over Twin Valley South, spoiling the Panthers' homecoming festivities.
"We talked about getting on top of them early and the kids did just that," said Covington coach Dave Miller. "The kids came out tonight focused and ready to play. They took care of business."
The Buccaneer defense set the tone on the first possession of the game by stuffing the Panthers inside their own territory and forcing a punt. Jake Stewart returned the punt to the house, but the celebration was short lived as a yellow flag negated the touchdown.
But Covington didn't waste much time hitting pay dirt as quarterback Isaiah Winston scooted his way in from ten yards out to give the Buccs a 6-0 lead as the point-after attempt failed.
Twin Valley South fumbled on its next possession, turning the ball over to Covington at its own 32.
On the next play Jake Stewart raced 32 yards for the score and a 12-0 lead as the two-point conversion attempt fell short.
But Covington wasn't finished in the opening frame.
This time it was Tyler Noffsinger with the big play as the senior ran untouched around left end for a 62-yard touchdown run. Once again the two-point conversion attempt failed, but Covington held an 18-0 lead at the end of the first quarter.
The big plays continued for Covington in the second quarter as Kyler Deeter scored on a 17-yard run and Winston connected with Stewart for the two-point conversion to increase the lead to 26-0.
The first half was capped by junior lineman Darren Clark, who scooped up a blocked punt by Deeter and raced 51 yards for his first high school touchdown. Stewart kicked the extra point to give the Buccs a 33-0 lead at the break.
"We made some big plays on offense, defense and special teams," Miller said.
Another big play came on the opening kickoff of the second half as Noffsinger ran right through the middle of the South kick coverage for a 90-yard touchdown. Stewart's second kick of the night were the final points of the night for Covington as the margin increased to 40-0.
Twin Valley South did score late in the third quarter on a 1-yard run by Tyler Leach, but the outcome was already in doubt.
"We were without Cory (Ely), Steven (Blei) and (Sam) Angle," Miller explained. "Then we lost (Ben) Wilson, (Josh) Boehringer and (Gabe) Mohler during the game, so we're pretty banged up. But we had some younger kids step up tonight and make plays."
Freshman Bobby Alexander had a huge night on the defensive side of the ball as he forced a fumble and recovered another South fumble. In all, Covington forced four Panther fumbles and recovered three of them.
"Defensively, we played well, especially in the first half," Miller praised. "And we had five freshman on the field a lot. Those kids got after it."
The victory improves Covington's record to 6-0 on the season and 5-0 in the CCC, while Twin Valley South drops to 1-5 overall and 1-4 in the league. Despite the record, Miller sees the potential for a really good team at South.
"They (South) are young right now and they are going through some growing pains," he said. "But Jason Schondelmyer is one heck of a coach. You can see that by the way they were prepared tonight. I have all the respect in the world for what he's doing over there with a young group of kids."
For Miller and the Buccs, getting healthy is at the top of the priority list heading into next week's game against National Trail.
"We've got some guys banged up and we'll work this week on getting them healthy," Miller said. "We need to get as healthy as we can for the stretch run here."
Because the Buccs don't need any more drama.