The Duncan Banner
Duncan went toe to toe with Ardmore in Friday’s District 1-5A football contest at Halliburton Field, playing well defensively and holding the Tigers to eight first downs and 164 yards rushing.
Just a few mistakes hurt the Demons’ chances.
Three lost fumbles — one which Ardmore returned for a touchdown — and punting miscues didn’t help. Ardmore (5-1) capitalized on its opportunities and handed the Demons (2-3) a 28-0 loss.
“They were physical and ran their offensive game well,” said Ardmore coach Doug Wendel. “But in the end, we just made a few more plays than they did.”
The Demons got into the red zone on their opening drive but couldn’t put the ball into the end zone. They later forced an Ardmore fumble, but couldn’t convert.
Then, on their first drive of the second quarter, the Demons fumbled a snap. Ardmore’s Wendell Williamson scooped up the ball and returned it 20 yards for a touchdown. Wendel cited that play as the one that swung the momentum in Ardmore’s favor.
Demon coach Jim Holloway said he wasn’t sure what led to the fumbled snap.
“Our defense played well, but we couldn’t convert on our first drive. We then held them a couple of times, but then turned (the ball) over and they picked it up and ran with it,” Holloway said.
Duncan’s second lost fumble killed a drive late in the third quarter. Its third lost fumble came just after Duncan recovered an Ardmore fumble in the fourth quarter. The Tigers immediately turned that into a 30-yard touchdown run by Kyrdic Knox.
Short punts by the Demons didn’t help in winning the battle of field position. The Demons averaged 24.8 yards on four punts. One second-quarter punt went out of bounds at Duncan’s 33-yard line, which set up a 31-yard touchdown pass from Ardmore’s Jarred Hall to teammate JaMarcus Mills.
Late in the game, a bad snap on a punt resulted in the ball being downed at Duncan’s five-yard line, leading to Hall hooking up with O.J. Walker on a short pass into the end zone.
“Last week, our punter was kicking it 48 yards, and tonight, he had around 25,” Holloway said.
Hall, a junior who filled in for injured starting quarterback Clay Atwood, had 64 yards rushing on 15 carries.
“Jarred did a good job executing our offense,” Wendel said. “We missed a few reads but (Duncan) had a great defensive game plan. Jarred just managed the game well.”
The Demons outgained the Tigers offensively, 226 yards to 204. Senior running back Je’Mario McCoy accounted for half that offense, with 123 yards rushing on 16 carries. But the mistakes held the Demons back.
“We made too many mistakes against a good football team,” Holloway said, adding that Ardmore’s “speed on defense was the difference.” He explained that senior quarterback Connor Kelly — who rushed for 43 yards on 18 carries — has usually been able to get to the edge for large gains, but wasn’t able to do that against the Tigers.
“We never quit playing, but we never quit making mistakes, and that’s not characteristic of us,” Holloway said.
Duncan heads to Lawton MacArthur Thursday. MacArthur is coming off a 56-21 victory over Chickasha.