“That may be the most complete game that I have seen a team play in my 17 years coaching.”
So said Covington head coach J.R. Kirby after his Chargers posted their third shutout of the season in a 34-0 demolition of the Dyersburg Trojans in a Region 7-3A game Friday night in Covington.
The story line centered on the Covington defense, which held the Trojans to 18 rushing yards on 23 runs. The visitors did not record a first down, missed on all four passing attempts and had eight consecutive three-and-outs. Dyersburg (3-4 overall, 2-1 region) posted negative yardage on eight of 26 plays from scrimmage and never crossed their own 40-yard line. The one time they made it to the 40 was via a kickoff return.
The Chargers (5-1, 3-0) scored in all phases of the game.
For the first time this season, CHS won the coin toss and took the ball. An eight-play, 72-yard scoring drive, which included a fourth-and-five conversion, ended with a 12-yard scamper by quarterback Braden Gover.
The Trojans fumbled away the ensuing kickoff and were made to pay with Gover’s 8-yard TD pass to Jamarion Dowell just 57 seconds after the first score.
Gabe Wellentin, a perfect 4 for 4 on PATs, drilled a 25-yard field goal to push the lead to 17-0. A.C. Mason-Young, who was everywhere the ball was all game, blocked a Dyersburg punt at the Trojan 10 and scooped and scored from the two to end the quarter at 24-0. Skylan Smith capped a three-play, 50-yard drive with a 32-yard TD run nine seconds into the second period and Wellentin closed the scoring with a 35-yard field goal.
“With the mercy rule in effect, I wanted the varsity to have one drive in the second half and then give the young guys some experience,” Kirby said. “We ended up out there most of the half because we were flat. Two fumbles stopped drives. We missed some opportunities and have some things to clean up. Overall, a dominant performance and a big win.”
Gover had his best night of the season passing, completing 7 of 14 attempts for 99 yards and a TD. Smith had 10 carries for 90 yards and a TD. Dowell rushed 10 times for 83 yards and had a receiving TD and Gover had eight carries for 29 yards and a TD.
The win against Dyersburg, which beat Covington twice last season, all but wrapped up the region title and put the Chargers in first place all by themselves. CHS, which is ranked third in this week’s Associated Press Class 3A state poll, travels to Bolivar this Friday to face off with the Tigers in a Region 7-3A contest. The Chargers will clinch the region title with a win against Bolivar, which is 1-6 overall and 0-3 in region play. Dyersburg beat Bolivar 56-19 in Week 5.