The Duncan Banner
Marlow’s No. 5 and No. 10 weren’t going to come off the field on defense for a breather, coach Rob Renshaw was sure of that.
Seniors Kagan Blackburn (5) and Trey Coffman (10) shared the ball on offense, rushing to the combined tune of more than 1,800 yards and 25 touchdowns. However, this article is not about offense. It’s about defense.
Blackburn and Coffman may have been close in statistics on the defensive side of the ball — they were tied with 103 tackles, and Blackburn had only three more tackles for loss. However, as the smaller of the two, Blackburn’s energy on the field set him apart from not only Coffman, but every player on the field. It became one of the main reasons why he has been named the 2013 Duncan Banner Defensive Player of the Year Award.
“He has a good motor, never stops,” Renshaw said. “He has a knack for finding the football. Some people would say his size worked against him, but he always found a way to not get blocked.”
Finding out how not to get blocked is hard to describe in statistics other than tackles. However, with Blackburn it’s easy. He had three fumble recoveries and blocked three kicks. He was a game-changer for the Outlaws and he proved it on offense as well, averaging close to nine yards per carry.
However, it was on the defensive side of the ball that Blackburn wanted to improve the most. His focus was to just keep getting better.
“Since sophomore year its been my goal to the best I can on defense, everything I can to make the team good,” Blackburn said.
The whole program has emulated that improvement. Marlow’s record two season’s ago was 1-9. Then the Outlaws made the playoffs last year, but still finished with only four wins. This year the team had a winning season and hung tough against a brutal schedule.
The best glimpse of this was against Kingfisher, who won the Class 3A state Championship. The Outlaws were close all the way into the fourth quarter and had it not been for a crucial holding call, they could have been tied going into halftime.
Next year they move to a different district, which will mean a likely easier district schedule, but its hard to forget the performance that Blackburn and his defense had this season.