By Ben Robinson
ANSONIA — The last time Covington played Ansonia was in the final regular season game of Tyler Cates’ first season as Buccaneer head coach in 2016 – a season that saw the Buccs finish 10-0 on the regular season and the Tigers finishing 2-8. In that contest played at Ansonia, Covington jumped out to 49-0 halftime lead and cruised to a 63-16 win with the Buccaneer junior varsity squad playing the majority of the second half.
That was then and this is now – and expectations for a much more competitive contest was in the cards with Covington sitting at 2-2 on the young season and Ansonia fielding a 3-1 record with its only defeat coming to a very talented New Bremen team in week two.
But what materialized was very similar to what happened in 2016 as Covington took command from the opening kickoff to build a huge lead before calling off the dogs in what turned into a 48-6 route.
And, after a one hour lightening delay, it was the opening kickoff that set the tone as Dalton Weer waived his way through outstanding special teams blocking for an 80-yard touchdown and a 7-0 Buccaneer lead before the fans could find their seats after returning from their cars.
Ansonia started its first possession of the game at its own 20, but was forced to punt after three plays netted just five yards. Covington’s Josh Latimer got a hand on the punt, which tallied negative five yards – giving the Buccaneers the ball at the Tiger 20.
Five plays later Cade Schmelzer hooked up with Kadin Presser from five yards out to push Covington’s lead to 14-0 with 7:39 left in the opening frame.
Things went from bad to worse for Ansonia as Alex Shaffer picked off an Isaac Barga pass to give Covington the ball at its own 44.
Covington wasn’t able to capitalize on the theft as a penalty halted the drive before it started, which resulted into the first and only punt in the contest for the Buccaneers.
Unfortunately for Ansonia, it turned the ball right back over to Covington as the punt was mishandled by the returner and Dalton Weer pounced on the loose ball to give the Buccs possession at the Tiger 27.
Two plays later Schmelzer found Austin Flick open down the right hash on a 26-yard scoring strike to push the Covington lead to 21-0 with 5:39 left in the first.
Ansonia managed to gain a first down on its next possession, but the Buccaneer defense prevented further damage by holding the Tigers on a fourth-and-seven situation at the Covington 41.
The Buccaneers then moved the ball methodically down the field, which ate up the rest of the first period.
Two plays into the second quarter Covington broke pay dirt again as Schmelzer connected with Andrew Cates from 13 yards out to push the Covington lead to 27-0 as the point-after attempt sailed wide left.
After another three-and-out was forced by the Covington defense, the Buccaneers went 56 yards on their next possession and capped the effort with an 8-yard run by Alex Shaffer to push the advantage to 34-0 with 7:29 left in the half.
Covington scored again with 2:51 left in the half on a two-yard run by Bryce Weer and had another scoring opportunity before the break.
Unfortunately for the Buccs, a pretty toss from Schmelzer to Kleyton Maschino for a touchdown was negated by a penalty, leaving the score 41-0 in favor of Covington with one half of football in the books.
With a running clock consuming the second half, Covington put together a clock eating drive midway through the third and capitalized on a two-yard run by Nate Alexander, who moved from guard to fullback. Maschino’s kick made the score 48-0 and Covington emptied its bench the rest of the way.
Ansonia was able to prevent a shutout on a six-yard run by Reece Stammen with 31 seconds left in the game to make the final score 48-6 as the pass for two points fell incomplete.
In all, Covington racked up 348 yards of offense, while Ansonia tallied 147 yards.
If there is one point of concern for Covington it would be penalties as the Buccs committed eight infractions on the night to just three for Ansonia.
Cade Schmelzer had a stellar night managing the offense as he threw for 166 yards and three scores on eight of 12 passing. Kleyton Maschino had a great night at the receiving end with 102 yards on four catches in just one half of offensive football.
The win boosts Covington’s record to 3-2 overall and 2-1 in the CCC. The Buccs host Miami East (2-3) next Friday in a huge rivalry battle.