NEW CARLISLE – The Covington Buccaneers challenged themselves against a strong Tecumseh team in the final scrimmage in preparation for the 2022 season.
And there were plenty of positives for the Buccaneers to build on.
“We are improving and these kids are still learning,” said Covington coach Austin Morgan of his young and inexperienced football team. “A lot of times when you are learning, it is hard to go hard every play because you are thinking so much, not reacting. But these kids go hard more often than not. Once we mesh the two together to where the kids don’t have to think too much, we will make huge strides.”
Early in the scrimmage the Buccaneers appeared tentative, a little too reactive. Tecumseh was able to take advantage by scoring on its first two possessions – both coming on big plays after the Buccs had them facing a third and long.
“What is happening is sometimes we are out of position because we take a wrong step of don’t read our keys,” explained Morgan. “A lot of that is due to limited experience, but those are mistakes we can correct through coaching and more repetitions.”
Yes, things appeared shaky early on, but once the Buccaneers settled in positives plays began to materialize. This led to an increase in confidence on the field to where Covington appeared much more aggressive and less passive.
Two of the big plays came on defense by Garrett Leistner. The sophomore linebacker forced a fumble that was recovered by senior DeAnthony Bennett to halt a Tecumseh drive and Leistner followed by recovering another fumble shortly thereafter.
“We had kids flying to the football,” Morgan said. “That’s something we can build on.”
The Buccaneer defense made yet another huge play as freshman Day’Lynn Garett stepped in front of a Tecumseh pass and returned the interception 67 yards. The interception stood, but unfortunately the return was called back due to a clipping penalty.
Still, the Buccaneers were able to capitalize on the turnover on a touchdown catch by Day’Lynn Garett from quarterback DeAnthony Bennett.
“We moved the ball better as the scrimmage went on,” Morgan explained. “We also did a good job of not committing stupid penalties, which is really good for as young as we are.”
Covington only had three penalties throughout the entire scrimmage, two of those from aggression. Only one penalty was due to a mental mistake.
In the end, however, Tecumseh did outscore Covington 4 to 1, but the scoreboard didn’t tell the entire story.
What mattered most is the Buccaneers continue to show improvement each time they take the field.