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October 6, 2013

Tuttle’s alertness gives Indians momentum

COMANCHE — For the first part of Comanche’s 46-18 victory, it couldn’t hold onto the ball. Fortunately, senior offensive lineman Christopher Tuttle is an opportunist.

Trailing 12-8 early in the second quarter, the ball left Comanche’s (2-2) hands again. The Mangum defensive line celebrated but the play was still live. That’s when Tuttle seized his moment. Showing some outstanding agility for an offensive lineman, he scooped up the ball and didn’t stop running until he was in the end zone 62 yards later.

“I’ve dreamed about it my whole life,” Tuttle said after the game. “The whole defense thought it was over, and I’m like ‘no it ain’t. I’m running it.’”

The play sparked a run of 38 unanswered points for the Indians, in which senior quarterback Hunter Rice got to prove he was the fastest player on the field. Rice rushed for 116 yards before halftime and was a threat to go the distance every time he tucked the football. Rice said the space he was provided was crucial to the big runs.

“I give all my credit to my offensive line, because of my second (touchdown) I didn’t even get touched,” Rice said.

It was a big relief to the players that the early mistakes didn’t cost them. With such an inexperienced team —16 of the 32-man roster are underclassmen — coach Steve Justus hopes the amount of errors will fade over time.

“We’ve got kids that are just so young playing,” Justus said. “We’ve got some kids out there that are pretty good athletes, but they just haven’t played a lot of football. It’s just elementary stuff and teams that have played lots of years of football don’t do that kind of stuff.”

The Indians will now turn their attention to Lindsay, who will come into Comanche riding high off a 26-20 win against Frederick. Both teams are 2-0 in the division. If the Indians can capture a victory, they will have an upper hand heading to the back end of the schedule.

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