All-Bowl honour

Christian Covington of the Rice Owls (56) chases Air Force Falcons quarterback Kale Pearson during the Armed Forces Bowl Dec. 29 in Fort Worth, Texas. - Photo courtesy Rice Sports Information
Christian Covington of the Rice Owls (56) chases Air Force Falcons quarterback Kale Pearson during the Armed Forces Bowl Dec. 29 in Fort Worth, Texas.
— image credit: Photo courtesy Rice Sports Information

A victory in the Armed Forces Bowl in Fort Worth, Texas has capped a solid first football season at Rice University for Surrey’s Christian Covington.

The defensive tackle had one of his most productive games of the season in the Dec. 28 bowl game, making five solo tackles and one assisted tackle in a 33-14 win by the Rice Owls over the Air Force Academy Falcons. He also had a quarterback sack, his fourth of the season.

His efforts earned him a place on the USA Today All-Bowl Team, announced Tuesday.

“Covington was the key factor behind Rice’s ability to slow down Air Force’s running game, which entered the Armed Forces Bowl ranked No. 2 nationally in rushing yards per game,” wrote USA Today’s Paul Myerberg.

Covington signed with the Owls in February, 2011, just months after leading the Vancouver College Fighting Irish to a Subway Bowl provincial championship. A team captain, he was credited with 83 tackles, 15 sacks, six fumble recoveries an interception and two defensive touchdowns in 14 games in his final season of high school football.

He is the son of Grover Covington, a Hamilton Tiger-Cats legend who is in the Canadian Football League (CFL) Hall of Fame and is the league’s all-time quarterback sack leader

Covington was a red-shirt (practice, not play) last season, but was a regular in the Owls lineup this past season. The six-foot-three, 285-pound freshman started in 11 of 13 games, and played in all but one.

He led the team with 17 hurries, and finished the regular season with 43 tackles (26 solo), five sacks and a forced fumble. Eight tackles were for loss of yards.

The Armed Forces Bowl was the first bowl appearance for the Owls in the past four seasons. Rice was 6-6 (won-loss) overall, and 4-4 in Conference U.S.A. They were 4-8 (3-5 in conference play) each of the past two seasons.

Covington was one of three defensive linemen from Rice to earn honorable mention status on the All-Conference U.S.A. team selection.

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