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NBA Legend Bill Russell once said “The only score that doesn’t matter, is the score at the half.”
This saying couldn’t have been more true than Tuesday night at Halliburton Stadium.
Down 3-0 at halftime, the Duncan Demons roared back to tie the game at 4-4, before ultimately being the victim of a controversial goal, giving Altus a 5-4 victory and eliminating the Demons from playoff contention.
In a second half which featured one of the most courageous comebacks in DHS soccer history, MarkWae Sanders got Duncan on the board at 3-1 with just 16 seconds gone.
Off a throw-in from teammate Jesse Gonzalez, Sanders collected the ball off a favorable bounce and headed the ball home into the net.
Altus though had a response and made it 4-1 with 28:26 remaining in regulation when an indirect free kick was converted past the reach of DHS keeper Saul Garcia.
Moments later at 25:52, Duncan responded with a thunderous free kick of its own.
Josh Adamson fired home a shot that rippled the top part of the net, giving the Demon faithful hope that a comeback was on the cards.
Just under eight minutes later, those hopes had some more momentum, and then some.
Jesse Gonzalez took the pass from Sanders just outside the box, and unleashed a rocket of a shot into the top left-hand corner of the net, making the score 4-3.
At 12:32, Duncan received a lifeline which gave itself a chance to tie the game.
With a penalty kick called against the Bulldogs, Gonzalez stepped up, but was ultimately unsuccessful with the spot kick.
However, on the ensuing scramble, it was Darion Bowels slotting home short side to tie the game at 4-4 and send the Duncan fans into a frenzy.
Sanders almost gave the Demons the lead at the 5:19 mark, when he shot was saved from inside the box.
Moments later though, controversy reigned supreme.
With AHS on the offensive, a ball sent into the box was tapped home, in what appeared to be an offsides position.
Despite the appeals from the Duncan bench, the linesman’s flag stayed down, and the Bulldogs had the lead once again, much to the disapproval of the fans wearing red.
Altus took the lead in the first half at the 36:00 mark when a low shot found the corner of the net, before it was 2-0 thanks to a blistering free kick sent in from a tight angle.
The third Bulldog goal was scored off a corner kick through a header into the net.
Duncan will try and get back into the win column Friday night at El Reno.