Seniors for Covington, St. Paul’s know what’s at stake in Friday night clash
No one needs to say a word.
There’s no mention of the Brown Jug, and hardly a whisper of being undefeated at 5-0 because the number that matters most is 0-3. Forget the 17-game District 6-5A winning streak by St. Paul’s. The seniors of Covington High don’t want to end their careers never having beaten them.
For the seniors playing for the Wolves, they’d love nothing more than to be able to say that they’d never lost to the Lions.
“This game is big for my team and I,” Covington running back Devin Brumfield said. “We had a goal since spring and it was to take it week by week, and this week we will be lining up to beat St. Paul’s, our crosstown rival. We will take it day by day and go out and fight for this win.”
Last year, in a 31-14 loss at Jack Salter Stadium, the Lions struck first with a nine-play, 74-yard drive in which quarterback Josh Alfaro finished it off with a 25-yard strike to Mason Cialona. It didn’t take long for the Wolves to tie it up with a 22-yard pass from Johntae McDowell to Thomas Celestine. The Lions fought back quickly with another touchdown pass from Alfaro, this time to Anthony Ford. It could have been more, but a 28-yard pass from Alfaro to Kejon Batiste was wiped out due to an offensive pass interference call. The Wolves managed to stay a few steps ahead.
Despite being undefeated, Covington takes nothing for granted.
“I think we can all agree that we’re not playing at our full potential,” Covington quarterback Josh Alfaro said. “We have a lot of talent and we played well, but we know we can play better.”
In five games, the Lions have averaged just over 38 points a game while allowing almost 18, and the confidence continues to build.
“5-0 is a big start for us and we know the only thing that can stop us is us,” Brumfield added. “We’re not the best team in the district yet, because we still have five games to go.”
Thought St. Paul’s enters the game at 3-2 overall, they are tied with the Lions at 2-0 in District 6-5A with the added incentive that the winner takes charge. But, the rivalry…
“Playing for and winning the Brown Jug has always been a highlight of the season,” senior defensive end Noah Seiden said. “Knowing it will be my last time is bittersweet to say the least. I’m excited because it’s my senior year and as a captain, I know I have a large responsibility to help my team win.”
Up to this point, the Wolves have played an unforgiving non-district schedule that has included Karr and Tennessee powerhouse Christian Brothers. In between losing both of those games was a blowout win over Jesuit, followed up by District wins over Northshore and Hammond.
Expectations remain high and defensive back Jack Bonaldi knows there’s no shortage of motivation.
“I think we can all agree we’re not playing to our full potential,” said Bonaldi. “We have a lot of talent and we’ve played well, but we know we can play better. Covington has a good team this year and we expect them to come out strong and play their best game.”
After this week, there will be four game remaining. Right now, though, only one matters.
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