Knight River Clonch (2) look for running room on the outside against Covington.
Photo by Ed McCoy

All James River needed was a little bit extra to beat Covington in football last Friday, but the Knights couldn’t get it. River lost to the Cougars in overtime, 26-24, as they failed to convert on four different extra point attempts.

The Knights had plenty of chances. Trailing 18-12, they scored on a nine yard pass from Coulter Hodges to Michael Taylor with 40 seconds left, and a successful extra point attempt would have set the Knights up for the win. They had missed on two two-point conversion attempts already in the game so this time they tried to kick it for the win. However, River Clonch’s kick was blocked and the game went into overtime.

“They bull rushed the snapper and blocked it,” said River coach Jake Phillips. “It was a good snap and a good hold, and if they don’t block it I think it would have been through. You can’t hit the snapper, but they didn’t call it.”

River went first in the overtime and scored on a second down on a run by Hodges. However, River was stopped on an option play on the conversion attempt.

“If I had it to do over again I would have just put it in number 12’s(Hodges) hands and let him run it,” said Phillips. “That’s what I regret the most.”

The Cougars went next and scored on their first play. Covington had also missed three conversion attempts to that point, but this time they were successful and that was the ballgame.

“It was a tough loss,” said Phillips. “They ran that quarterback sweep and that was really the only play that hurt us, but we had some guys out there who didn’t want to make a tackle.”

River trailed 6-0 at the half and fell behind 12-0 in the third quarter before rallying to tie the game on a six yard run by Hodges and a four yard TD pass from Coulter to Erik Tolley. Covington regained the lead, but River scored late to tie it, failing on that extra point kick that could have won the game.

Jesse Carter (60) of James River tries to escape from a Covington blocker in Friday’s game.
Photo by Ed McCoy

The stats were fairly even, with Covington holding a slight edge. The Cougars outrushed River, 213-199, and outpassed the Knights, 181-145.

Hodges had another good game, leading the team with 117 yards in rushing. He also completed 10 of 19 passes for 145 yards and two scores.

Clonch had 60 yards rushing, Michael Hays had 20 and Jesse Riley had 14. Clonch had five receptions for 106 yards, Tolley had three for 17 and Taylor and Daniel Holter had one catch each.

On defense, Holter led the team with 16 tackles. Luke Peay had 11, Tolley had 10, Jesse Carter had nine and Clonch had seven. Clonch also had two interceptions, which he returned for 67 total yards, and Tolley and Taylor had one pick each. Logan Williamson had three tackles for a loss before leaving due to an injury.

Now 2-2, River has their bye this week before returning to host Glenvar for Homecoming on September 29.


James River is off this week, returning September 29 to host Glenvar in River’s Homecoming game.

Knights Logan Williamson (72) and Brandon Bolton chase down Covington’s quarterback.
Photo by Ed McCoy
Rivers’s Michael Hays (45) fights through a block in Friday’s game with Covington.
Photo by Ed McCoy