COVINGTON – Brock Iddings scored long distance touchdowns the first two times he touched the ball on Saturday night when Covington hosted the Portsmouth Notre Dame Titans in the OSHAA D-VI Region 24 quarterfinals. The third time Iddings touched the ball, he was kicking a school record breaking 42-yard field goal into the wind.
His heroics sent the Buccaneers to the locker room at halftime with a 16-0 lead on their way to a dominant 42-12 final score.
Covington had 440 yards of total offense (355 rushing, 85 passing). Portsmouth got 259 yards (234 rushing, 25 passing) out of their power I-formation attack in a losing effort.
“If you play your heart out, limit your mistakes, and try to stay focused the score board will probably take care of itself,” Iddings said after the game. “Touchdowns are great, but I give all of the credit to my teammates. If they didn’t block I never would have scored. They deserve it.”
“Brock has a great leg,” first-year Bucc head coach David Miller would say later. “He has a lot of talent there is no question about it. That was a big field goal for us and a great confidence builder for him. He’s a dangerous weapon.”
There was no shortage of heroes for Covington.
Iddings ran for 104 yards on just five carries (including a 34-yard TD and a 42-yard TD). Copy-cat running back Jordy Burelison accounted for 104 yards on 14 carries, throwing down a touchdown of his own just for emphasis. Bill Dickey passed for 85 yards (6-for-9) and junior all-purpose back Chris Long scored twice out of the double-wing for the 11-0 Buccs.
Down by sixteen, the Titans opened the second half with a bold, even though unsuccessful, onside kick. Six plays later, Burelison dove into the endzone to make the score 23-0. Notre Dame’s Alex Davis returned the ensuing kickoff all the way to the Buccaneer’s 28 yard-line, only to see the opportunity squandered when Logan Hall recovered an Aaron Williams fumble in the end zone for a touchback.
Seven plays and eighty yards later, Long scored on a quarterback keeper to put the game out of reach.
Earlier this season, the undefeated Buccs had been winning handily even though they had experienced extended bouts of ball insecurity and nasty rashes of unexplainable penalties. Viewed in that light, Saturday’s game was a positive development for their program.
“I don’t think we had any turnovers,” Miller offered. “Penalties were a very minor factor tonight and that’s an improvement. That’s something we talk about each week, but this week the kids just decided that they had had enough of turning the ball over and getting stupid penalties. That has been something that has plagued us a little bit, too.
“The early scores were crucial, and to be able to go into halftime with a 16-0 lead was huge. Notre Dame (6-5) is a good, physical football team. They are very disciplined, so that was big for us. We were kind of struggling a little bit and it gave us momentum.”
Uncharacteristically, Covington has let some lesser teams hang around late into the second half this year. At one point this game was 37-0.
“We finished the job tonight,” Miller said emphatically. “We put them away. Good teams learn to do that, and that makes me happy. Our defense has played well all year; this game was an exceptional effort. After all, they are a pretty good offensive team.
“Our defense plays as a true team, it’s not about individuals. It’s about flying to the football. Jordy Burelison did a good job at linebacker. Our seniors as a group—Logan Hall at nose guard—they play team defense. It’s more than just their motto, they actually try to do it.
As the game drew to a close there was no taunting from the winners or whining from the losers. In many ways, these two teams had realized the true measure of each other long before this contest was even played.
“The thing they did for Corey Patty (a member of the Bucc football program) was amazing. They heard that he was battling cancer and so their school raised a bunch of money for him. I wish I knew how much, but that’s special and that is way bigger than football. I take my hat off to them. They are a great group of people.
“I noticed it when I talked to coach (Portsmouth head coach, Kyle) McKnight on the telephone all this week and you could see it on the field, here. They exemplify class.”
Senior running back Craig Williams ran for 179 yards on 22 carries, including a 62-yard third-quarter touchdown romp, for Notre Dame. Quarterback Trey LaValley was limited to just 37 yards of total offense.
Covington (11-0) moves into the second round of the OSHAA D-VI playoffs and will face Sydney Lehman Catholic (8-3) in a 7:00pm game on Saturday November 10, at a site to be determined later.
Head coach Richard Roll’s Cavaliers advanced by beating Lockland 41-13 in their first round contest.