The Duncan Banner

Opinion

September 1, 2013

It’s time for Demon football

DUNCAN — Hours of practice time and preparation nears an end. Most of the plans are in place, in need only of that last-minute polish.  Nerves begin to tighten. Stomachs begin to churn. Enthusiasm starts to build. Friday night football is here. Finally.

It’s not just a game any more. It’s an event, a community happening  It’s football players, coaches and teams, of course. But it’s also cheerleaders, bands, pom-pon squads, dance teams, flag corps, drum majors, majorettes and fans. It’s proud mamas and papas, wide-eyed little brothers and sisters. It’s new memories being born.

Duncan launches its 96th season since 1911 when it entertains Guthrie at storied old Halliburton Stadium Friday, The Demons will be in search of their 596th victory in their 1,029th game and it won’t necessarily be easy.

The good news is Duncan holds a 12-5 series edge over the Blue Jays. The bad news is Guthrie has won the last four games by a combined score of 124-12 and has shut out the Demons the last three years, winning by a collective 104-0.

Overall, Duncan is 56-38-1 in openers.

But that’s all in the past

Jim Holloway points to the benefit of playing Oklahoma’s best teams early to build character and develop a team concept, adding tongue-in-check, “at this time of the year, I think we can beat the Dallas Cowboys and the Green Bay Packers.”

Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m. in the remarkable 4.272-seat stadium (I counted them.) that was built in 1941 by the WPA for $72,000 and is celebrating its 72nd year of competition with a new press box that cost considerably more than the original stadium.

Duncan beat Altus 6-0 in the first game played there. A couple of you may have seen the milestone win in person. Hopefully, a lot of us will be on hand when the Demons hit the 600-win plateau with their fifth victory of the 2013 season.

Holloway, of course, knows a thing or two about winning. In 37 years as a National High School Coaches Hall of Fame head coach, he has 256 victories and three state championships. Starting his ninth year here, his Demon record is 51-37 against the best – Guthrie, Carl Albert, Lawton MacArthur, Ardmore and Del City dot the schedule this year -- our state has to offer.

Only the legendary Charlie Lynch (208 games) and Earl Presley (155) have coached more Demon games or held the post longer.

This year’s schedule seems especially challenging. Five 2013 opponents (Weatherford, Carl Albert, Altus, Ardmore and Lawton MacArthur) own a series advantage over Duncan and the combined record for this year’s foes favors the other guys 163-154-8.

But everyone is undefeated today.

And there are many good times to remember as we await that first kickoff.

Duncan beat Comanche 6-2 in its first game in 1911 and recorded its first shutout in 1919, blanking Waurika 19-0.

It beat Walters 82-2 in 1921, became the Demons in 1923 through a school wide vote and lost its first ever night game, falling 13-7 to Waurika at the fairgrounds in 1931.

Forget Duncan scored only a single touchdown and gave up 226 points in nine 1925 games and that Norman beat Duncan 85-0 in 1926.

The 1933 squad lost just one game, shut out eight opponents and allowed only 25 points in 11 games, yet won only six. It tied four games. Three were scoreless.

The 1943 team was among its most dominant It finished 10-0, beat every opponent by at least two touchdowns, scored 305 points and allowed just 58.

Duncan is credited with five state championships (1945, 1977, 1978, 1983 and 1984) by the Oklahoma Secondary Schools Activities Association, but claims a sixth in 1951 when it was 11-0 and there was no playoff.

There have been six undefeated teams, two (1978 and 1984) with 14 wins apiece.

 Lynch’s 1983-85 teams won 27 straight games. Ray Hall’s 1977-78 teams won 21 straight. And though Lynch’s teams in 1990-91 didn’t win a title, they did post a 24-4 record. The 1990 team played a record five playoff games, losing to Ada in the finals.

 Coach Billy Stamps’ seven-year .760 winning percentage (59-18-7) remains the best. A three-overtime loss to Lawton MacArthur is the longest DHS game ever. The Demons have scored 18,977 points against 94 opponents, allowing 14,721.And when Duncan and Ardmore play here Oct. 11, it will be the 91st game between the two schools.

 Any other questions?  Ask DHS Athletic Hall of Famers Bill Buxton or Pee Wee Cary.

Go Demons!

                                                                                                 edarling@duncanbanner.com                                                                                   

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