The Chargers took no prisoners last Friday night against the Sheffield Knights, giving the 14 players honored in pregame Senior Night ceremonies a 53-6 win in their final regular season home game.
“We knew going in against Sheffield that we were likely the better team,” said head coach J.R. Kirby. “Yet, our focus was on the offense and improving over the previous two weeks and players executing and doing the things that they have been coached to do.”
The focus paid off and everyone got in the act.
Covington (7-2) scored four touchdowns in the opening period to put the game out of reach early.
The Chargers travel to McNairy Central Friday for a Region 7-3A game with a postseason berth on the line. It breaks down like this: With a win, Covington is in as a two or three seed. if Covington loses and Westview beats Milan Friday, Covington will miss the playoffs for the first time since 2014. If Covington and Westview lose, Covington would make it as the fourth seed and have to travel in the first round.
Marcus Hayes (three carries, 81 yards, two TDs) got the party started with an 18-yard scoring run just three plays into the game. Jamarion Dowell capped a seven-play, 71-yard drive on the next possession with a 10-yard scoring run for a 13-0 Charger advantage. Tori Bradley Jr. got one for the defense, returning an interception, his 6th of the season, 47 yards to pad the Covington lead. Carson Ruffin (2 of 2 passing for 76 yards and two TDs/ five carries, 57 yards) found Andrew Scott on a 14-yard reception to close the scoring in the period.
The second quarter was much the same as the first. Cobye Somerville scored from two yards out after an interception had put the Chargers in business at the Knights’ 23 yard line. Ruffin hit Dowell with a 62-yard scoring strike to push the lead to 40-0 and then Hayes picked up his final touchdown on first and 10 from the Sheffield 38 with a romp to the end zone.
At the half: Chargers 46, Sheffield 0.
The second half was played with a running clock.
Sheffield got behind the Charger secondary to get on the board with a 47-yard TD pass in the third period.
Torris Smith put the finishing touch on the night with a 27-yard TD run for Covington in the fourth period.
Kirby was quick to give credit to Sheffield for hard play and for their character.
“We had a few players with their heads down, moping about two emotional losses. They were challenged by the staff, noting that Sheffield’s head coach quit the first day of school. They started the year with just 11 players and at the end have less than 25, yet they were still in the game and giving it their all. Our kids got the message and responded.”
The defense did its job. Bradly had a pair of interceptions and Breshun Dyson added a third. The Knights gained just 21 yards on 23 rushes and picked up 53 passing yards. Covington scored five tines on the ground, amassing 317 yards on 32 carries.
“McNairy is a big, physical, athletic team,” Kirby said. “They have a veteran quarterback in Cole Kirk who is getting looks from several colleges. Their running back Austin Scott is a senior who is having a great year. They have four senior linebackers who have speed and agility. It will be a tough battle to win on the road. We have to keep their offense off the field and limit their possessions”