DALLAS — Bishop Reicher failed to build on positive start Friday night and fell to Dallas Covenant Christian, 31-8, in a TAPPS District 2 Div. III game.
The Cougars (0-5, 0-2) snatched an 8-7 lead at the end of the first quarter after scoring the first touchdown of the game and a two-point conversion, but never scored again and came up short in their quest to win win their first game of the 2021 season.
“We got off to a good start, and played hard, but didn’t get the turnovers we needed,” said first-year Reicher head coach Billy Overshown. “We’re going to get this thing turned around, but we’ve got to play all four quarters to do it.”
Covenant (2-3, 2-1) led 21-8 at halftime and opened the second half by recovering an onside kick at midfield. That led to a short drive capped by an eight-yard scoring run by quarterback Andrew Peterson for a 28-8 edge early in the third quarter. The Knights’ placekicker Maddox Reinke booted a 34-yard field goal late in the fourth quarter for the final margin.
The Cougars’ best chance to score after halftime came early in the fourth quarter. They had a 3rd-and-goal at the 1-yard-line, but lost a yard, then on fourth down a pass fell short of the end line.
Reicher got off to a good, early start, using defense to set up offense to gain the first score of the game. Defensive back William Aynesworth picked off an early pass, taking the ball over the back of a Covenant receiver and returning the ball to the Reicher 42-yard line on the Knights’ first offensive possession.
Just three plays later, Aynesworth, now the quarterback, found Tyler Ward streaking down the right sideline and connected on a 52-yard scoring strike. Joshua Fullbright ran for a two-point conversion and it was 8-0 Cougars with 9:10 left in the first quarter.
But that was the last real offensive highlight of the first half for Reicher. Covenant, which won its first game of the year last week and defeated Reicher last year in Waco, put together three long drives to take a 21-8 lead midway through the second quarter.
The first covered 78 yards and 9 plays with quarterback Mark Spangler putting the finishing touches on the scoring drive with a 3-yard run. The kick by Reinke was good, but Reicher still clung to an 8-7 edge at the end of the first quarter.
Spangler scored two more times in the second quarter on an 8-yard scoring run and then a 41-yard burst up the middle where he broke nearly a half-dozen Reicher tackles for his third first-half touchdown run.
Reicher appeared to get its offense restarted just before halftime when Aynesworth found Fullbright along the right sideline for a 33-yard catch to the Covenant 42 yard-line. But the drive stalled and Reicher turned the ball over on the downs.
Twice Reicher hurt itself with mistakes in the first half. The Cougars appeared to stop Covenant on a fourth down on their first scoring drive, but an offside penalty gave the Knights a first down which led to their first score.
In the second quarter, Fullbright converted a first down on fourth-down run, only to have the play called back by a personal foul call on Reicher.
Covenant appeared to be ready to score right before halftime before an outstanding play by Reicher’s Reggie Miller. He stepped in front of a Knight pass just inside the end line for an interception with just 32 seconds left before the break.