Usually in a football game, the team that wins the turnover battle is the team that wins the game.
Never did that statistic ring more true than Friday night in Covington.
The Dutchtown Griffins recovered two Covington fumbles and interecepted three passes en route to a 19-16 nondistrict victory at Jack Salter Stadium.
Fittingly for Dutchtown, one of those three interceptions sealed the game with less than 20 seconds left. Defensive back Jordan Jackson picked off Covington quarterback Edgerrin Cooper at midfield as the Lions tried to make a comeback. The Griffins ran out the clock.
Jackson had all three interceptions for Dutchtown (2-1), including one on the first drive of the game.
"Coach (Guy Mistretta) always tells us that if it has to be, then it is up to me," Jackson said. "We have to stop them every time. Sometimes the offense will struggle, so we have to have their backs."
Covington started its initial drive at the 41-yard line — but on the third play from scrimmage, Cooper lofted a ball downfield that Jackson settled under and took in at his own 30-yard line.
Jackson then weaved his way through the Covington offense and took the ball all the way down to the 1-yard line, where he couldn't quite stretch the ball over the goal line.
"I wanted to score on that one," Jackson said. "I reached out and everything. I probably fumbled when I landed, but it was all right."
No worrries, though. Dutchtown as quarterback Dre Monroe ran back-to-back quarterback sneaks, punching it in to give the Griffins a 7-0 lead.
Covington's offense never got going in the first half, getting just two first downs, punting three times and turning over the ball twice on interceptions and once on downs.
Dutchtown, meanwhile, mixed the pass and run. Monroe scored again with 3:58 left in the first half on a 7-yard run. The Griffins missed the extra point but led 13-0.
Three plays later, Jackson got his second interception of the game, giving Dutchtown the ball at its own 36.
The Griffins essentially ran out the first half clock, kicking 37-yard field goal with 2 seconds left in the half to take a 16-0 halftime lead.
Covington did not roll over, though, storming out of the locker room determined to make it a game. The Lions forced Dutchtown to punt on its first possession, then dominated the rest of the quarter.
Covington drove 81 yards on 14 players (including 13 runs) and capped the drive with a 15-yard touchdown by Cooper, who also dove in for the 2-point conversion to cut the lead to 16-8.
After another three-and-out by Dutchtown, Covington got the ball back on its own 29. Cooper soon ran it in from 16 yards away and again converted the 2-point run to tie the game at 16.
Dutchtown took back the lead for good when Hayden Sosa hit his second field goal of the game — this time from 26 yards — to give the Griffins a 19-16 advantage.
Covington had two more shots at the victory after that, but a turnover on downs and Jackson's last interception did the Lions in.
"Unfortunately we had five turnovers that we committed at some really crucial times," Covington coach Greg Salter said. "To our kids' credit, (it was good) to be able to come back and have a chance to take the lead, but we turned it over and couldn't regain the momentum after that."
Dutchtown coach Guy Mistretta was happy to get the win.
"We are a young, inexperienced team, and we learned a valuable lesson tonight," Mistretta said.
Covington (1-2) hosts Poncahtoula next week.
Dutchtown hosts Sci Academy.