MONTEZUMA, Ind. — The Covington football team picked up its second consecutive win as they traveled to Riverton Parke and came away with a 48-12 victory.
The game matched a young Covington squad against an experienced, but numerically small Riverton Parke team.
The contest started on an even keel as Riverton Parke received to open the game and drove 62 yards in seven plays to take a 6-0 lead.
The drive included a pass from quarterback Johnny Myers to Kory Cronkhite good for the 31-yard touchdown on fourth-and-three.
Covington then took advantage of a short Panther kickoff, getting the ball on their own 45. Three plays later, Gage Hegg ran 41 yards for a touchdown that tied the score.
Riley Spangler kicked the extra points to put the Trojans in the lead 7-6 with less than four minutes gone in the game
Riverton Parke got the ball back, had a short drive, but had to punt. Covington got the ball back and ran 10 plays to score. The Spangler extra point made it 14-6.
After that score, the game settled down and most of the plays came between the 30's as neither team could score for the remainder of the half.
All that changed after the intermission as Covington took the kickoff on their own 49. A run by Hegg, a pass from Halen Noble to Quentin Andrews for 45 yards and a one-yard run by Hegg put the Trojans back on the scoreboard in less than a minute.
Just as Covington's had, the Riverton Parke offense woke up again in the third quarter. They took the ensuing kickoff out to their 39 and used six plays to score another touchdown that made it 21-12.
Covington began to alternate between Hegg, Gabe Newlin and Trace Coffing as their ball carrier in the third quarter. The trio moved the Trojans down to the nine-yard line, but a field goal attempt from there was wide left.
“Those three guys really compliment each other,” said Covington head coach Travis Brown. “Hegg is our fullback. Newlin has speed and Coffing has some of both speed and power.”
Down nine points, the Panthers went to the air but it backfired as Noble picked off a pass and ran it back for a touchdown. The extra point was wide, but Covington lead 27-14 late in the third quarter.
Riverton Parke did not give up and they drove to the Covington 16 from where they tried a fourth-down throw into the end zone. Wyatt Kinderman broke up the pass and the Trojans took over possession.
As the fourth quarter, it became obvious that the Panthers' limited squad size was beginning to become a problem as the team tired. Coaches on their sideline began asking who could go in and often it was someone who had just come out who went back in.
Covington took advantage to add another two scores to get the 48-14 win.
It was not just the offense that pleased Brown.
“We got some stops on fourth down and in the red zone and that was great,” he said. “Our line played well. Our outside linebackers Hegg and Kinderman did well and even Quentin Andrews, a freshman safety is learning how to do things well.”
Perhaps most noticeable on the defense were Jake Shields, Tanner Jumps and Nate Ratcliff whose line play often forced Panther quarterback Myers to scramble and run wide.
“Shields is a sophomore and he started after the South Vermillion game,” said Brown. “And Tanner [Jumps] is a leader with a great work ethic as a senior.”
Brown now gets a week to prepare for a rematch at Attica as his team opens sectional play next Friday on the road.
Greg Flint is a freelance writer/photographer for the Commercial-News. He can be reached at email@example.com