Joshua Bickham and Devin Brumfield combined to rush for 383 yards as Covington rolled over the Northshore Panthers 45-7 in the District 6-5A opener for both teams at homecoming at Covington.
Brumfield rushed for 194 yards on 17 carries and had two touchdowns. Bickham, playing in his first game after missing two weeks for an off-field incident, rushed for 189 yards on 19 carries and one touchdown.
But maybe the biggest ovation of the night came on the final point of the game. Lineman Stevante Crandle scored as a fullback on a 1-yard touchdown plunge. Then Jack Salter Stadium erupted as female kicker Loraine Weiskopf entered the game to try the extra point. The kick sailed cleanly through the uprights as she was mobbed on the field and on the sideline. She was giving a standing ovation as the first female to score in a game in Covington history.
“Loraine came to us in the preseason” Covington coach Greg Salter said. “She works hard, and she got an opportunity. She’s a great kid, and I have three little girls at home. They all tell me their favorite player is 45 (Weiskopf).”
“I’m overjoyed, and I feel so accomplished,” Weiskopf said. “When I walked out onto the field, I told myself I know I can do this because I do it at practice. I have to make it. After it went through the goalpost, I looked at the scoreboard and said, ‘That’s my point.’ ”
The extra point gave the Lions a 45-7 lead with 1:46 left in the third quarter.
The Panthers took the opening kickoff and drove down inside the Covington 20, but Matthew Benedict’s pass was intercepted by Tyler Evans at the goal line to thwart the Northshore drive.
On the Panthers’ next possession, Benedict threw his second interception, but this time Marquell Hollins returned it 35 yards for a touchdown. Ian Connelly added the extra point to give the Lions a 7-0 lead with 5:06 left in the first quarter.
The Lions increased the lead to 14-0 when Brumfield scored on a 32-yard touchdown scamper. The two-play 93-yard drive was kick-started by a Bickham 61-yard run.
Covington increased the lead to 21-0 onits next possession when quarterback Tyler Smith ran a fake and kept the ball on a 26-yard touchdown run. Connelly’s extra point increased the lead to 21-0 with 8:34 left in the first half.
The Panthers took the ensuing possession and scored on a five-play 69-yard drive. Benedict connected with Jaime Yepez on a 59-yard touchdown pass. Robert Watts added the extra point to cut the deficit to 21-7 with 6:44 to go in the first half.
Brumfield scored his second touchdown of the game on a 3-yard run with 4:13 left in the first half. Connelly made a 32-yard field goal with 50 seconnds remaining in the first half to increase the lead to 31-7 at halftime.
The Lions rushed for 246 first-half yards. Brumfield had 113 yards on 10 carries, and Bickham had 96 yards rushing on just nine carries. Covington had 293 yards in the first half and averaged 9.5 yards per play in the first half.
The Lions finished the game with 464 yards rushing and 556 total yards.
The Panthers were held 240 yards of total offense.