By Ben Robinson
NEW PARIS —It’s been a long week for the Covington Buccaneers as they had to reflect on last week’s shocking defeat at the hands of Twin Valley South and wait to get back on the field to see how they would respond against National Trail.
And it was apparent in the first minute of the game that Covington wasn’t taking anything for granted as it recovered a pooch kick on the opening kickoff and converted it into seven points on a five-yard run by Jared Williams.
It was the beginning of an onslaught as the Buccaneers scored at will in a 56-6 route of the Blazers.
“Great response after last week,” said Covington coach Dave Miller of his team’s effort. “We played much more physical and aggressive, especially at the defensive end.”
Covington’s secondary in particular played with a different mentality. It played physical and challenged every pass attempt by National Trail – limiting the Blazers to just two catches for eight yards.
“Our secondary played much, much better,” Miller praised. “We switched some personnel, but the biggest thing was the kids played much more physical. National Trail threw some things at us and that’s what we wanted to see. The kids responded.”
The Buccaneer defensive unit limited National Trail to under 40 yards of offense through three quarters and didn’t allow any points until the Blazers scored on a 10-yard touchdown run by Hunter Lindsey on the last play of the game – preventing the shutout.
But by then the game was decided as Covington rolled to a 42-0 halftime lead.
After Williams got things started in the opening minutes of the game, senior teammate Shane Straw raced untouched on a 37-yard run to make the score 14-0 after one quarter of play.
Then, on the first play of the second quarter, Straw broke loose again. This time Straw broke two attempted tackles at the line of scrimmage and scooted up the gut from 22 yards out.
“Shane had a nice response to last week,” said Miller. “Our backs ran hard and our line controlled the line of scrimmage.”
Jared Williams followed with his second score of the night on a 48-yard run and then Ethan Herron followed with a 51-yard scamper.
Junior fullback Deron White closed out the first half for the Buccs with a 49-yard run to make the score 42-0.
Covington wasn’t finished with big plays as the second half kicked off with a running clock. On the opening possession of the half Lance Miller broke loose for a 63-yard scoring run to push the margin to 50-0 after Coleman Ryan converted a bad snap on the point-after into two more points with a toss to Ben Kuether.
The Buccaneers then turned the game over to the younger kids on the roster and didn’t miss a beat as freshman Dimaurye Ewing scored on a six-yard jaunt in the opening minutes of the fourth quarter to make the score 56-0 after the extra point attempt was wide right.
The Covington junior varsity defense was on the verge of preserving the shutout, but a late hit with two seconds left gave National Trail one last opportunity from the ten. Hunter Lindsey was able to find a crease on the right side of the Buccaneer defense and scooted his way in for the score.
In all, Covington racked up 469 yards of offense, all coming on the ground as eight Buccaneers carried the load.
National Trail rushed for 87 yards on the night, 52 coming in the fourth quarter by Hunter Lindsey.
Covington racked up 21 first downs to just 7 for National Trail.
The win boosts Covington’s record to 7-2 overall and 6-1 in the CCC as it looks to lock up at least a share of the conference title next week in the regular season finale at home against Ansonia.