South Stopped at Covington
J. C. Tilton
Two unbeaten teams entered the field at Covington High School and something had to give. Covington already had a highly regarded defense while South's offense has been generating plenty of points. On the hand, the South defense has had problems keeping other teams out of the endzone. But somehow South has found a way to win, could Covington fend off any last minute heroics? It was a hard fought game between the two teams.
Covington dominated in the first half. They had 8 first downs to South's 4 and pretty much doubled up on the yardage -80 some for South and 162 for Covington. South's defense forced some turnovers, but allowed two first half scores. The first score in the half was the result of back to back turnovers. South had forced Covington to cough up the ball after they had drove deep into Panther territory. JT Stone made the recovery. But on their first play, South fumbled back, allowing Covington to regain momentum and they finished that drive into the endzone.
South's best opportunity for a score in the first half was broken up by an athletic play by Bucc safety, Logan Woloch. Speedster Joe Maleski was a step ahead of the cornerback on a deep route and Josh Flynn hit him in stride with a pass. Running across field Woloch crashed in to Maleski at the same time that the ball arrived breaking up what looked to be a sure touchdown. With some momentum from this play, Covington took over and marched the ball downfield for their second score just before halftime to make it 14-0 going into the locker rooms.
A couple of Covington miscues set up the Panthers touchdown in the third quarter. Their drive ended after a hold and then a fumble on back to back plays. This gave South the ball at midfield. With the running game stifled, South now worked on short pass routes. Both Joe Maleski and Eric Walker made critical first down catches. The visitors stands became alive as they marched towards the endzone. On 4th down and 6, Flynn connected with Devin Eisenhour to make the score 14-7. Suddenly South had new life.
But Covington knew how to respond. The were able to put together a clock chewing drive and with seconds left in the 3rd quarter they scored again to make it 21-7. Twice in the fourth quarter, South would take the ball deep into Covington territory only to be foiled each time. Starting from their own 6 yard line, a Flynn 51 yard pass to Maleski would bring the ball out to midfield. This drive would go all the way to the Covington 35 where on 4th and 6 a trick play was attempted but failed. After holding Covington, South got the ball back for the final time. They vainly drove deep into Covington territory again where they ran out of timeouts and clock.
I was pleased with the effort, but now with the outcome, admitted coach Cottingim, We went toe to toe with the 14th ranked team in the state. We have worked on the defense this week, and when you take away their first touchdown, where we fumbled the ball to them on our own 35 yard line, we played better defense than what we have before. They took away our running game in the first half, but we adjusted in the second half and were able to move the ball better. Covington had an advantage on field position. So many times we had to work with a long field, while they got the ball at midfield several times.
Next week South will host Tri-County North. Comments: email: Chris Tilton