It took a third-ranked, undefeated, Class 4A Haywood squad to put an end to the Covington Chargers’ seven-game winning streak.
Though Covington played Haywood evenly in the second half, a big first half was too much to overcome. The Tomcats moved to 9-0 with a 34-17 win over the Chargers, who had not lost since the season opener, Friday night in Covington.
The Tomcats struck first with a 50-yard scoring run by quarterback Cordero Walker just 1:10 into the game. Despite a total of 13 penalties, Haywood never trailed. Two more touchdowns, the last at 13.3 seconds, ran the lead at 20-0.
“We did not execute on offense,” said Covington head coach J.R. Kirby. “It was a challenge for sure with our linemen outweighed by 20 to 30 pounds, but no excuses. We did not execute our game plan.”
A bright spot for Covington in the first half was provided by the kicking game. In addition to blocking the initial PAT by Haywood, the Chargers got on the board as the clock ran out with Gabe Wellentin’s 34-yard field goal, his fourth in the last three games. The kick was set up by a 53-yard run by Jamarion Dowell.
“We played them even in the second half,” Kirby said. “We got back to what we do and scored two times in the fourth quarter.”
Skylan Smith scored from fi ve yards out to cut the deficit to 34-10. He rushed for 73 yards on 19 carries. Dowell put the last TD on the board with a 12-yard run. For the night, he gained 130 yards on 13 carries.
All told, CHS had 220 rushing yards on 44 tries. Braden Gover completed 3 of 8 passing attempts for 34 yards. Haywood scored twice on the ground with 220 yards gained. Walker was 8 for 14 passing for 129 yards and 3 TDs.
“I feel better than last year, a 33-0 loss to the Tomcats,” Kirby said. “No moral victories. Happy to be back in 3A for the remainder of the season.”
Covington celebrates homecoming on Friday night, closing the regular season with a 7 p.m. fegion game against the Bolton Wildcats. CHS has home field advantage throughout the playoffs, which begin on Nov. 4.