Sunday, September 12, 1999

Columbus DeSales 33, Covington Catholic 7

Colonels confused by foes' strategy

Enquirer contributor

        Going into its football game Saturday against Columbus St.Francis DeSales, Covington Catholic was confident it could stop the Stallions' option-oriented offense.

        DeSales, Ohio's two-time defending Division III state champion, was coming off a 39-13 loss to Westerville South in which its total rushing output added up to minus-3 yards.

        That was the attack on which the Colonels had focused for the entire week.

        But CovCath (2-2) hadn't counted on DeSales coach Bob Jacoby installing a new offensive line. Jacoby, dissatisfied with the production of his original unit, took his defensive linemen and added offense to their job descriptions. The line responded by paving the way for the Stallions attack to pile up 461 yards of total offense, 370 of them on the ground, which led to a 33-7 DeSales victory in CovCath's first home game of the season.

        “They're a good football team,” said CovCath coach Lynn Ray, who was denied his 200th career victory for the second week in a row. “They did a much better job of executing their offense than we did of stopping it.”

        Senior quarterback Chris Mahaffey was the key to what Jacoby called DeSales' midline veer offense. Mahaffey, whose fakes to senior fullback Andy McGovern on up-the-middle dives were so effective that he often seemed to be prying the ball away from his fullback's grasp, gained 212 yards and scored two touchdowns on 15 carries.

        He scored on a 59-yard option run off left tackle on DeSales' first possession and on a 25-yard burst the other way in the second quarter.

        Mahaffey also threw a 59-yard touchdown pass to junior wide receiver Kevin Hazel. Another touchdown pass was called back on a clipping penalty.

        McGovern added 113 yards and scored two touchdowns.

        “I'm not really sure what they were doing,” Ray said. “If I knew, I might have been able to do something about it.”

        Said Jacoby: “I thought they'd do a lot better. I wasn't sure how we'd measure up to Covington Catholic, because they have an outstanding program.”

        Columbus St. Francis DeSales ....... 14 7 6 6—33

        Covington Catholic ....... 0 7 0 0—7

        S — Mahaffey 59 run (McNally kick)

        S — McGovern 74 run (McNally kick)

        C — Paul 5 pass from Dietz (Goetz kick)

        S — Mahaffey 25 run (McNally kick)

        S — McGovern 11 run (kick failed)

        S — Hazel 59 pass from Mahaffey (pass failed)