Super Dawg legacy!
By JACK WELCH
On the Sidelines
This Sunday will make the third Super Bowl for a former Copperas Cove Bulldawg to participate in. Charles “Peanut” Tillman played in Super Bowl XLI as a Chicago Bear and will again be in Super Bowl 50 as a Carolina Panther. Two former Dawgs (coach and player) participated in last year’s game. Josh Boyce, wide receiver, played on the winning team, New England Patriots, and Chris Morgan coached for the Seattle Seahawks.
Cove has been blessed to have lots of “Super Dawgs” pass through the Bulldawg sports programs and currently, the girls’ and boys’ basketball teams are striving to leave their legacy as “Super Dawgs”. Both teams are in “must” win situations to earn a playoff berth. The girls’ team took an important step in securing a playoff spot with a victory last Tuesday over Harker Heights.
With their backs against the wall, fighting for a playoff spot, it appeared last Tuesday night would be an end to their playoff dream. Facing a “must” win in their last two games, the Lady Dawgs were down 9-2 in the first quarter. Many teams would have said “it’s over from the start”, but not these gal’s. The Lady Dawgs fought back and finally pulled away in the fourth quarter for a 59-47 victory.
The Lady Dawgs must win Friday night against Shoemaker to clinch the playoffs. These girls have proved they can rise up to the challenge. Hopefully fans will pack the Shoemaker gym and cheer these gal’s on to victory Friday!
Now for the Super Bowl! Who would ever have imagined two former ‘Dawg players and one former coach being involved in 3 Super Bowls? Although, “Peanut” will be sidelined with an ACL injury, he has been a vital part of the Panthers reaching this year’s Super Bowl with his outstanding play.
Tillman played 12 years for the Bears. He has been selected to two Pro Bowls and was the “Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year” in 2013. He is known for his cover skills as well as his ability to force fumbles by stripping or “punching” the ball away from players, with his well-timed punch of the ball commonly known as the ‘Peanut Punch.
This season was going great for Tillman. He recorded his first interception for the Panthers against Andrew Luck during the Panthers 29–26 victory over the Indianapolis Colts. He recorded a fumble in a 37–29 victory over the Green Bay Packers. “Peanut’s” playing season ended in Carolina’s regular season finale against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with a torn ACL.
During the Super Bowl game, he will be on crutches. The good news is he has already had surgery and is rehabbing. Hopefully he will overcome the odds and return for another season next year.
“Peanut” is accustomed to overcoming odds. Do you remember the ‘Dawg playoff game in 1998? This story seems to be a “coffee shop” favorite. It was the first playoff game for the ‘Dawgs since 1963. It was against the #2 ranked Arlington Lamar Vikings.
The Vikings were led by legendary Hall of Fame coach Eddy Peach. Their squad was heavily ranked to play for the state title. They were a senior dominated team and all four of their defensive backs had already committed to D1 institutions such as LSU and Auburn. All odds were against the ‘Dawgs.
The Cove game plan worked flawlessly for the first half as the ‘Dawgs held a 20-7 lead. The Vikings came alive in the second half and gained the lead 24-20. It appeared like the “fairy” tale season might come to an end.
Just like the girls’ basketball team last Tuesday, the ‘Dawgs would not quit. As the fourth quarter dwindled down to the last two minutes, the power running and blocking of Aaron Mickens, slice and dice running of Vontez Duff and the pin point passing of John MacDonald led the ‘Dawgs to mid-field. Then quarterback MacDonald gave a great counter trap fake to Duff (drawing the defense to the left), and bootlegged to his right. The southpaw turned his body and threw a strike to Charles “Peanut” Tillman and Tillman ran it 46 yards down near the goal line. After a two-yard run, the next play saw Duff going over the top, landing in the end zone, to secure the win for the ‘Dawgs. This was the first 11-man playoff football victory for Cove.
The girls’ and boys’ basketball teams are battling to make the playoffs a part of their legacy! Three former ‘Dawgs in three Super Bowls adds to the Cove football legacy! Doesn’t it make you proud to share in the overall legacy of Cove sports?
Thought for the week, “It is up to us to live up to the legacy that was left for us, and to leave a legacy that is worthy of our children and of future generations.” Christine Gregoire