Paced by a stout defense, which held the Franklinton offense to a single score, Covington knocked off the Demons 14-6 in the season opener Friday night.
“Our defense was outstanding, but it took a complete team effort out here (Friday night) against a good Franklinton team,” Lions coach Greg Salter said. “We were able to capitalize on a quick start, and the game couldn’t have started any better.”
On the opening possession, the Demons (0-1) fumbled inside their 15-yard line, and Adam Daix recovered for the Lions. Two plays later, Devin Brumfield took it in from 2 yards out to give Covington a 7-0 advantage.
The sophomore tailback finished as the leading rusher for Covington (1-0) with 86 yards on 27 carries and a touchdown.
After forcing Franklinton into a three-and-out on the ensuing possession, Marquell Hollins connected with Alonjai Earlycutt five plays later for a 25-yard touchdown to make it 14-0.
“Our defense was playing so well tonight,” Salter said. “We just wanted to play smart, disciplined football offensively. We just wanted to keep moving the chains and keep the clock running.”
The No. 9 team in the Advocate Large School Top 10 poll, Franklinton’s lone score came on its first possession of the second half on a 12-yard touchdown run by Tavion Pittman.
Trailing 14-6, Franklinton’s final possession came with under two minutes to go, but Tahj Magee’s fourth-down pass fell incomplete.
Making his first start under center, the sophomore quarterback had 91 yards rushing on 19 carries and threw for 61 yards on 10-of-24 passing.
“Give Covington credit,” Franklinton coach Shane Smith said. “We got whipped. That’s all there is to it. We have to play better and take advantage of our opportunities offensively. In the first half, we had a mishap on a kickoff return that changed field position, and then we fumbled the first drive. You look up, and we are already down 7-0. Other than that, Covington made only one other offensive play.
“A lot of this is on our offense. We have to do a better job. We have to get healthy, which we will. The guys out there in the meantime can’t drop passes. If you are on the field, you have to make the catch and make the throw. We are going to do (it); it is just going to take some time.”
Known for their high-powered offensive attack, Franklinton was held to 216 yards.
Lions senior defensive tackle Stevante Crandle said he knew he and his defensive teammates had their work cut out for them.
“We just had to push through and finish strong,” Crandle said. “We had our ups and down throughout the game, but as a defensive unit we knew we had to finish strong and fortunately enough we were able to make the plays when we needed them. Coach told us don’t let them get through, and we didn’t want to let him down.”
The Lions hit the road next week to take on Rummel on Saturday, while Franklinton returns home for their home opener against Amite next Friday night.