“We knew that North Side had good kick returners, so we planned to kick the ball hard on the ground,” said Charger head coach J.R. Kirby Friday’s home opener vs. Jackson North Side.
It worked better than he thought.
Covington took the opening kickoff and converted two fourth downs en route to a 71-yard scoring drive capped off by Jamarion Dowell’s first of three touchdowns on the night. This one was a 25-yard scamper to pay dirt at the 6:45 mark.
The Chargers kicked off and Kirby turned around and said, “How did we get the ball?”
Gabriel Wellentin’s kick had bounced off a lineman and into Charger hands at the North Side 36. A.C. Mason took it to the house on the next snap 18 seconds after the first score. North Side never recovered and Covington won handily, 48-20.
Covington scored on seven consecutive possessions and might have on the eighth, but the clock ran out on them at North Side’s 25-yard line.
Dowell was the workhorse with three touchdowns and 193 yards on 22 carries. He had an able supporting. Skylan Smith contributed 102 yards and a score on 11 carries, Jalen Fayne picked up 38 yards and a TD on eight touches and Dillon Travis had 48 yards on nine carries with a score.
The Charger offense is off and rolling, having amassed 999 total yards on offense and 89 points in its first two games.
Down 35-0 at the break, North Side got untracked in the second half scoring a touchdown via the air on the arm of Dehmari Wallace, the grandson of Charger head basketball coach Charles Mitchell. He completed 13 of 20 passes for 171 yards. The Indians added two more scores on the ground, picking up 110 yards on 25 carries. The Indian offense produced just 37 yards in the first half.
Backup quarterback Braden Gover did a credible job in the second half along with a number of younger players who got some valuable playing time.
“We didn’t tackle well after the half,” Kirby said. “We have plenty to work on.”
The Chargers will have two weeks to get ready for Brighton on Sept. 10. This week’s game versus Millington has been cancelled due to COVID issues for the Trojans. As with last year with a cancellation, the Chargers get a league win and move to 3-0 overall and 1-0 in Region 7-3A.