Panther Teams rumble with Covington
J. C. Tilton
The two TVS Wee Panther football teams went North to Covington for their first round games in the CCCYL October 19. The JV's played first on a sunny Sunday afternoon. The first score was set up by a Dillon Ashley interception which was ran back about 45 yard to the 7 yard line of Covington. Dillon kept the ball on two quarterback sneaks and finished what he had started with a TD. The conversion failed but South was up 6-0. This was the only score of the first half. In the second half, Matt Johnson bulled forward on several carries and finally scored a TD. The 2 point try was a Dillon Ashley to Matt Johnson pass which was caught to put the Panthers up 14-0.
It looked like the Panthers were in the drivers seat, but the Buccs were not about to lay down on the canvas just yet. In the early part of the 4th quarter, Covington drove down to the TVS 23 and busted loose a 23 yard run to give them a touchdown. The extra point was missed, and now it was a 14-6 ballgame. The Bucc crowd could sense a momentum change and got vocal at this point. The Covington defense responded by holding South to a 3 and out possession. With the ball at midfield the Bucc's began their last drive of the day. The TVS defense grudging gave up yardage, but the Buccs advanced to the South 23. But now time was a factor, down to their last play the Bucc's went back to pass. The quarterback scrambled to avoid a sack and took off around the end, he crossed back to midfield at the 14 where several TVS defenders brought him down to end both the Covington scoring threat and the game. It was the first playoff victory for the TVS Wee Panthers.
Now it was the Varsity's turn to play. Covington made a statement by winning the coin toss, but deferring to the second half. South took possession and did manage a first down, but a revved up Bucc defense threw South backwards. Later the Bucc's caught Brandon Fox trying to throw a half back pass and swatted the ball from his hand. The Bucc's recovered on about the 10. However, TVS quickly stripped the ball from a Covington runner which Brandon Fox and Joe Tilton recovered. Now the Panthers had the ball on their own 6 yard line. They ran the ball down the middle and now it was Covington's turn to return the favor - their linebacker stripped the ball from the South ball carrier. Starting inside the 10, the Buccs were able to score easily and go up 6-0 early in the second quarter.
Later that same quarter, TVS scored on a Miles McCollum to Clint Spitler pass.play that went 32 yards. The conversion was also a pass to Spitler and TVS went up 8-6. Covington started to threaten just before the half when Ryan Burns picked off a pass at midfield to halt the drive. In the second half TVS found pay dirt again when Brandon Fox went back for another halfback pass. This time it was complete to Nick Youngerman who took the ball 60 yards for another TVS score. Now it was 14-6. Again Covington tried to respond and again they had a drive end with a Ryan Burns interception. South mounted another drive deep into Covington territory. It ended with an 37 yard broken field TD run by Clint Spitler that left 7 Covington defenders sprawled across the field grasping at air. Again the extra point was no good, but TVS was up 20-6. Towards the end of the game, it looked like TVS could cruise to victory. They were running the ball well, but a South runner coughed up the ball and suddenly Covington had the ball in TVS territory. But the stingy TVS defense made Covington work for every yard they gained. Covington managed to score and make it a 20-12 game. But it took too much time for the hard earned score and TVS was able to take a knee twice to end the game. Both TVS teams advance to round two at Bradford.