By Ben Robinson
COVINGTON — Two entirely different Covington football teams were on display Saturday morning in a scrimmage against Eaton – one a team flying around full speed with relentless effort and intensity and the other a team that seemed unfocused, disinterested and going through the motions.
The Buccaneers have high aspirations in 2019 with a roster loaded with talent and experience and the potential was on display early in the scrimmage as both team’s variety units each had ten offensive plays.
Eaton received the ball first and the Covington defense was dominant – holding Eaton to a total of negative yardage in ten plays despite being flagged for pass interference along the way. It was an impressive display of all eleven players on the field being relentless and playing with emotion.
The effort and emotion carried over to Covington’s ten offensive plays. Brayden Wiggins started things off with a long run to the Eaton one on the first offensive play and Trentin Alexander finished things off with a one-yard scoring dive on the second play.
Covington scored again on the seventh offensive play on a touchdown pass from Cade Schmelzer to Alex Shafer and also had another touchdown catch by Kleyton Maschino called back due to a penalty.
Still, as the junior varsity squads took their turns at ten offensive plays each, it appeared as though the Buccs were primed to make a statement in the down-and-distance portion of the scrimmage once they returned to the field.
Unfortunately, it was an entirely different Covington varsity squad that took the field on defense to start the down-and-distance portion of the scrimmage and Eaton took advantage of the lackluster effort by driving the ball methodically down the field for a 70-yard scoring drive.
The Buccaneer offense couldn’t muster much on its first drive of down-and-distance, but the defense came alive to give the ball back to the offense on a three-and-out.
But the Buccaneer offense stalled again with a three-and-out of its own and the defense held again on three straight plays to give the offense a chance on a third possession.
After a tongue lashing from the coaches, the Covington offense finally got untracked and moved the ball at will against the Eaton defense. A long run down the sideline for 25 yards by Trentin Alexander started things off and a key catch over the middle by Andrew Cates on fourth down kept the drive alive.
Kleyton Maschino capped the drive with a pretty catch over a defender in the end zone on a pass from Schmelzer.
The effort ignited the Buccaneer team as the defense held the Eagles on the third straight three-and-out, giving the offense one more opportunity to finish the varsity portion of the scrimmage strong as time ticked away.
And the offense came through as Maschino made yet another spectacular catch to put the Buccs in scoring position. Trentin Alexander scored on a few plays later to end the scrimmage on a high note.
In all, Covington outscored Eaton 3-0 in the varsity portion of the ten-play series and 2-1 in the varsity portion of down-and-distance.
But Covington has plenty to work on before next week’s final scrimmage at Anna – primarily giving a consistent effort.