The sports rivalry between Covington High and Slidell High is one of the oldest in south Louisiana.
On Thursday evening, the Lions made an emphatic statement that they (for now at least) are the rulers of said football rivalry.
Covington jumped to a 31-7 lead before halftime, thanks in large part to Devin Brumfield’s 226 rushing yards and three touchdowns before the break. The sophomore running back finished with 260 yards on 29 carries and four scores to lead the Lions to a decisive 54-21 win at Jack Salter Stadium in Covington.
After Slidell (1-4, 1-1) scored to open the game, Covington began to dominate on both the offensive and defensive lines. That’s when Brumfield broke loose and things went south for the Tigers.
“They did great,” Brumfield said of his blockers. “They did their job. They work hard at practice every day, and I couldn’t have done any of this without them.”
Of course, as only a teenager, the tradition and rivalry between Slidell and Covington (3-2, 1-1) is not common knowledge to Brumfield. But any win is a win, he said.
“This is a great win,” he said. “It’s a district win. Everyone on my team did a great job.”
The Tigers jumped to an early lead when Tito Simmons took a handoff and threw to Terry Baham who had beaten his defender down the right sideline. The catch went for 42 yards, and Josh Wills kicked the PAT to make the score 7-0 with 10:32 to go in the quarter.
Covington stormed right back with a score on Brumfield’s 2-yard run. Devin Jenkins booted the extra point to tie the score with 8:06 remaining in the quarter.
Slidell didn’t move far on its next possession and punted. Brumfield took the ball on first down and raced 73 yards to the endzone for his second score of the evening with less than six minutes gone in the game. The Lions came right back with an 87-yard pass from Joshua Alfaro to Tyson Blanks that, with the ensuing PAT, turned what had been a close game into an impending rout.
The difference increased with a 78-yard run by Brumfield midway through the second, and a 25-yard field goal by Jenkins.
Slidell salvaged the half when with :11 remaining, quarterback Wayne Griffin threw 10 yards to Michael Stallworth for a score in the left corner of the endzone.
Covington led 31-14 at halftime.
The Lions made a point that they would not relax in the second half, when on the opening kickoff, Blanks received the ball and ran 71 yards up the right sideline for a touchdown. Brumfield tacked on a 2-yard scoring run later in the quarter. Alonjai Earlycutt caught a 14-yard touchdown pass late in the third and a safety in the fourth quarter capped the Lions’ scoring. Covington had the ball at the 1-yard line in the final seconds, but their quarterback took a knee to end the game.
“We say the same thing about Devin every week,” Covington coach Greg Salter said. “He continues to work hard. He stays grounded and humble. He’s a great teammate … We’re really beat up on the offensive line with three guys out, but it was a good test for the guys that did play go up against a good defense … It was test and they handled it well.”