Charger Coach Will Fields Previews Playoff Game Against Old Rivals
Warm Springs, VA – The Bath County Chargers defeated Franklin in the first-round of the state championship football playoffs and travel to Covington to play the Cougars in a second-round match this Friday night.
Chargers coach Will Fields said his defense was dominant in the playoff win over Franklin and talks about some of his defensive standouts in the game.
“We had another dominating performance from Mitchell Stinespring on our defensive line,” he said. “He’s as good a defensive lineman as I’ve ever coached here. You know, he kept that up. Christian Woodzell, at the inside linebacker position, and Ethan Wrights, also at the inside linebacker position, played very well. James McCulley, at our defensive end, had a season high in tackles with 10 or 11 tackles. I mean, we played really well in the front eight of our defense.”
Covington defeated Bath County in week six of the regular season, 22-19, assisted by four Charger turnovers. Fields says the playoff matchup with their Pioneer District rivals will be different.
“We’re healthy now, which we weren’t in the middle of the season,” he said. “So, I’m hoping the addition of those guys will give us a little boost in this matchup. But, we have a fairly long run with Covington and they’ve been a district opponent of ours as long as the Pioneer District has been around, I think, and at least since 1984. So, we had a streak of 12 wins in a row going into this year. So, we certainly would like to start a new streak. I think we have the ability. But we’ve got to go down there and they’re going to be fired up, I’m sure, and so are we.
“So, I think it will come down to – as most big games like that do – to who makes the fewest mistakes.”
The coach says the Charger defense will have to do a better job against a dangerous Covington offense.
“You know, it begins and ends with their quarterback,” he said. “I mean, he runs the ball most of the time for them. He’s been more effective in the passing game, which makes him that much more difficult to defend. But the bottom line is – you have to get that guy on the ground as much as possible. We didn’t do a tremendous job of that last time we played them, in the first meeting, and we’ve got to do a better job of that.
“They’ve got a couple kids who have stepped up to sort of become a supporting cast for him, and make some plays if you over-commit to him, so I think that’s what happened to Parry McCluer this past week in the playoffs.”
Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday night at Covington High School. The game will be broadcast live on the entire Allegheny Mountain Radio network.