Sheldon Baham threw for 133 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for 131 yards and another score to lead the Covington Lions to a 35-21 victory over the Fontainebleau Bulldogs in a District 6-5A game at The Dawg Pound.
The Lions (3-4, 2-2 in district) never trailed. The Bulldogs (4-3, 3-1) suffered their first district loss.
“Overall we had a great defensive effort,” Covington coach Greg Salter said. “Our defense put them in some long situations tonight. Our defense got tired in the third quarter, but when we took the lead back (28-21) we were able to get off the field then.”
The Bulldogs took their opening possession of the second half and drove 67 yards in five plays. Josh Bailey connected with Brett Johnson on a 33-yard touchdown pass to tie it at 21.
Covington answered when Cade Rogers scored on a 19-yard touchdown scamper to take a 28-21 lead with 8:16 left in the third quarter.
The Lions increased their lead to 35-21 when Baham scored on a 25-yard touchdown run with 3:41 remaining in the third.
“It’s all about execution,” Baham said. “The O-line protected me and opened up holes. But our defense has been amazing all season. They have a lot of maturity on that side of the ball.”
The Lions took a 7-0 lead on their first offensive play when Baham connected with Chandler Washington on a 55-yard touchdown pass. Donis Sorto kicked the first of his five extra points with 9:56 left in the first quarter.
Covington increased their lead to 14-0 when Reggie Gause caught a 10-yard touchdown pass from Baham. Sorto’s added the extra point with 1:01 left in the first quarter.
The Lions were forced to punt on their next possession and it only went 12 yards. The Bulldogs took over on the Covington 26. Seven plays later, Iverson Celestine scored on a 1 yard run. Chris Mastio added the extra point to make the score 14-7 with 5:27 left in the first half.
Covington answered on the ensuing kickoff. Washington returned it 96 yards for a touchdown to make the score 21-7 with 5:10 left in the first half.
“My guys made a lot of good blocks,” Washington said. “I just ran my hardest and made the play.”
The Lions faced a fourth-and-4 at the Bulldogs 35. Baham’s pass fell incomplete, and Fontainebleau took over with 1:06 left in the half.
Eight plays and 65 yards later Celestine scored on a 2-yard run. The Bulldogs snapped that play with 7.7 seconds left and no timeouts.
Celestine finished with 25 carries for 87 yards and two touchdowns. This brings his season total to 1,023 yards rushing and 12 touchdowns.
“They had a good game plan,” Fontainebleau coach Chris Blocker said. “They had a better plan and were more physical.”
The Lions had 227 yards rushing and 133 passing for 360 total. Fontainebleau rushed for 114 yards and had 177 passing for 291 total. Bailey completed 15 of 30 passes.