The Duncan Banner
COMANCHE – School administrators and game officials debated for more than two hours here Friday night, whether weather conditions would allow the Comanche-Marlow football rivalry to continue.
A monsoon-like rain, mixed with seemingly endless bolts of lightning, caused safety delay after delay, pushing back a series of starting times and even threatening cancellation of the storied match-up.
Soon after Marlow’s Trey Coffman kicked off to Comanche’s Braden Ledford under a slight drizzle and 72-degree temperature at 9:37 p.m., Indian players, coaches and fans were wondering if the right decision had been made.
The aggressively bullish Outlaws controlled play on the remarkably playable turf of Harley Stadium-Barnett Field, winning 60-0 in an outcome that could have been worse had it not been for a charitable running clock during the late hours of the second half.
Marlow ran for flashy touchdowns. It passed for long scores. It returned an interception for points. It kicked a field goal. And it added a two-point conversion and seven points-after kicks. That its defense tossed a shutout only added to the dominance.
“Oh my gosh, they’re very, very good,” Steve Justus, the Comanche coach, said when it was over. “They’ve got it all. They’re really big up front. Their backs all run hard. And it’s basically the same on defense.”
The skills surfaced quickly.
On their first possession, the Outlaws capped a 42-yard drive when Braeden O’Dell tossed a 29-yard pass to a wide open Logan Knox for the game’s first score. O’Dell ran for two and the mismatch was on.
Taking advantage of two Comanche fumbles in the opening period, O’Dell romped 42 yards on a quarterback keeper, then keyed a second drive with a punishing 23-yard run en route to watching Kagan Blackburn go up the middle on a 23-yard scamper that made it 22-0 after Coffman booted the points after.
It only got worse for the Indians. As the rain let up, Marlow poured it on.
Coffman’s 30-yard field goal made it 25-0 early in the second quarter.
O’Dell found Zac Beasler, who fought off Comanche’s Ledford, for an electrifying 63-yard touchdown, then topped that when he pulled back a handoff and raced 64 yards for a score.
Coffman’s kicks were all good and the halftime margin of 46-0 had delivered a crushing message to the crowd that had thinned due to the rain, the lateness and the obvious outcome.
The shortened second half seemed more competitive.
Blackburn, following his blocking, scooted through the line for a 46-yard Outlaw score on their first possession. And Marlow’s Jordan Smith stepped in front of an Alex Hinshaw pass, returning it 30 yards for the final touchdown.
The dependable Coffman kicked it to 60-0.
Comanche had scoring opportunities. Matt Headley missed a 35-yard field goal just before halftime and an 11-play fourth quarter drive ended at the 7 when Smith picked off another Hinshaw pass.
“I was pleased with the way we played,” Marlow Coach Rob Renshaw said. “We weren’t one dimensional. Trey had big numbers last week. Braeden and Blackburn did tonight. I’m proud of our offensive line and I was especially proud of our defense. Getting a shutout is hard to do anytime and that meant a lot to us.
“You never know when you’re going to win a game like this. It was a team effort.”
Renshaw said he didn’t think the weather delay was a factor even though the game started “about the time we usually finish.”
It was over at 11:32 p.m.
Justus was disappointed, though not deflated.
“We’re real young and real green,” the Indian coach said. “Some of our kids were playing in their second game, ever. You can only teach so much in, what, 23 practices. Our goal is to play as hard as we can for 48 minutes and to learn from each game.
“You learn more from your mistakes than your successes. We tried on every snap. I think we’re heading in the right direction.”
O’Dell had a huge night for the Outlaws with 124 rushing yards on six carries and 95 passing yards on 4 of 6 passing. Blackburn rushed for 107 yards on four carries and Coffman added 44 on 9.
Hunter Rice gained 39 yards on 13 attempts for Comanche.
Marlow, now 2-0, has beaten Comanche 49 times in a series that dates to 1924. It has scored 121 points in its two games to date and meets Sulphur in its home opener Friday. Comanche, 0-2, travels to Walters.