Season opening games are one of the three in a season where it is hard to predict the outcome, the others being senior night and sectional openers.
It was a tale of two halves when Covington hosted South Vermillion and fell to the Wildcats by a 20-14 score.
The visitors scored three times in the first half, missing one extra point due to a bad snap, to take a 20-0 lead into halftime.
Covington added to their own woes by fumbling the ball away twice, including one where they were on the South Vermillion 6 with a third-and-one and they killed another promising drive with a holding penalty.
“We showed our inexperience in two ways tonight,” Travis Brown, the Covington head coach said. “Turnovers and penalties hurt us.”
Things turned around in the third quarter as Covington used Paison Williams and Trace Hammer along with the passing of Colton Brown to Caleb Ellmore and Daniel Keller to score two touchdowns to trail 20-14 after Tanner Dreher kicked both extra points.
The Trojan defense forced South Vermillion into a three-and-out punt on one drive and a lone first down followed by another punt to get the ball back a third time in the half.
That drive went nowhere for Covington but the Wildcats could not move the ball when they got it back so the Trojans had one last realistic chance to take the lead.
With 6:23 left in the game, they got the ball back on their own 21 and drove to the South Vermillion 21, but two rushing losses followed by two incompletions gave the ball back to the visitors.
The Wildcats used their ground game to run out all but 14 seconds and in those final moments, Brown threw two passes but both were incomplete and the Trojans ended on the short end of the 20-14 score.
“It was like night and day between the first and second halves,” Brown said about the play of his team. “We improved a lot over halftime, but we’ve got plenty of mistakes to fix by next week.”