VERSAILLES — For the Covington football team, scrimmaging Versailles just seven days before the season opener is perfect timing.
That’s because the Tigers always a bring playoff caliber football team and play the style of football Buccaneer coach Dave Miller appreciates.
“This is always a good experience for our kids,” said Miller in regards to scrimmaging Versailles. “They (Versailles) play physical and disciplined football and their kids get after it. This scrimmage always gives us a good sense of the things we need to work on before the season starts.”
And what Miller found out after three quarters of varsity action in which the score was deadlocked at 7-7 was his team needs to play more consistently.
“It was good an bad,” Miller said in regards to his team’s performance. “We moved the ball well and didn’t put the ball on the ground, but we didn’t finish a couple of drives. Defensively, we played pretty well in the first two quarters and then let them go right down the field on us to start the third quarter.”
Covington tallied 155 yards in the three varsity quarters, while Versailles racked up 136 total yards — 70 of those coming on the one scoring drive to start the third quarter.
“The defensive series to start the second half wasn’t good,” Miller said. “Other than that, we played pretty well defensively. They had six possessions and three of them were three-and-outs.”
Offensively, Covington started the scrimmage with a quick first down, but was forced to punt.
After holding Versailles to a three-and-out, the Buccaneers put together a 12-play, 74-yard drive that ate up the rest of the first quarter. The drive was capped by a four-yard run by Lance Miller on the first play of the second frame.
“That’s what we’re all about,” said Miller of the scoring drive. “It starts with our guys up front and our backs ran hard.”
After holding Versailles in check on the ensuing possession, Covington moved the ball to near midfield before punting the ball away.
Versailles then connected on a 30-yard pass play into Covington territory, but a few plays later Ethan Herron intercepted a Tiger pass to end the threat.
Covington then took a knee to end the first half leading 7-0.
“I felt pretty good about the first half,” said Miller. “I thought we controlled the clock and limited their opportunities.”
After Versailles marched down the field to score to open the third quarter, Covington regrouped to put together another clock-eating drive.
Starting at their own 30, the Buccaneers marched to the Versailles’ 30 before turning the ball over on downs with under 1:00 left in the quarter.
This left the Tigers little time to get anything going before the junior varsity squads took their turn in the fourth quarter.
“I liked the way we responded after the score by them,” Miller said. “We moved the ball and in different circumstances we probably do things a little differently down there (inside the 30). But we got what wanted out of the scrimmage.”
A scrimmage against a very good football team who gave Miller and the Buccs plenty of things to look at in the final week before opening at St. Henry on Friday.
“That’s a good football team we played tonight,” praised Miller of the Tigers. “We came out of it relatively healthy and they gave us some things we need to work on. Fortunately it’s all correctable.”