The battle for field position did not go the Demons’ way.
The Duncan High School football team opened the season Friday, hosting one of the top teams in Class 5A, the Guthrie Bluejays.
Mistakes on special teams after the Demons’ first two drives stalled led to the Bluejays starting their first two drives deep in Demon territory, with Guthrie scoring on both.
And just after the Demons got on the scoreboard, the Bluejays returned a kickoff for a touchdown. Duncan could never get momentum back, losing 46-6.
“We didn’t get off to a good start,” said Demon coach Jim Holloway. “We like to be fast out of the gate, but we snapped the ball over the head of our punter and gave up good field position. We gave up six points too quickly.”
The bad snap happened after Duncan’s first drive stalled. Punter Cody Hood tried advancing the ball but was tackled at the Demons’ 13-yard line. The very next play, Guthrie’s Kai Callins scored on a 13-yard run.
The Demons’ next drive stalled at the 30-yard line and an apparent miscommunication led to a fake punt attempt that didn’t work. The Bluejays capitalized, with quarterback Reed Roberts hooking up with Donovan Jordan on a 16-yard pass play that ultimately led to a 2-yard touchdown run by Idae Alexander.
Guthrie added a field goal early in the second quarter, before Duncan finally got on the board. Demon quarterback Connor Kelly first connected with Spencer Cagg for a 21-yard gain that took the ball to midfield, then on third-and-four, hooked up with Nathan Clark on a 45-yard touchdown pass.
But the Bluejays took the momentum right back after Donovan fielded the ensuing kickoff and returned it 85 yards for a touchdown.
“We battled back and let them have that long kickoff return for the touchdown,” Holloway said. “Our field position was horrible all night long.”
Alexander scored another touchdown, on a 3-yard run, before the first half ended.
Bluejay coach Rafe Watkins said the three things he’s always concerned with regarding the first game are “special teams, penalties and turnovers.” Guthrie had the only turnover of the game — a fumble which Duncan recovered early in the third quarter — and had 65 yards lost to penalties, but the battle on special teams was in the Bluejays’ favor.
“They had a couple of bad breaks with their punt team,” Watkins said, “while we had too many penalties and some things we got to clean up.”
Yet despite the final score, Watkins believed the Demons will be in the playoffs by season’s end.
“I know Jim Holloway and his staff will get them turned around,” he said. “Hopefully we don’t see them in the playoffs too early.”
Holloway attributed the Demons’ mistakes to inexperience. Although the Demons were able to force a couple of punts, Guthrie’s offense seldom lost control.
“They’ve got an experienced offense, we have an inexperienced defense and it showed on the scoreboard,” Holloway said.
Guthrie added two more touchdowns in the second half. The first came on a 4-yard run by Alexander late in the third quarter and the second came late in the fourth after a 2-yard run by Tanner Meredith.
Kelly led the Demons in rushing with 45 yards on 17 carries. He passed for 67 yards, completing 4-of-10 passes.
The Bluejays rushed for 173 yards, with Alexander tallying 63 yards on 16 carries and Callins adding 66 yards on seven carries.
Despite the loss, Holloway remained optimistic that the Demons will improve.
“We’ll build on the strengths we find and try to eliminate the weaknesses,” he said. “It’s a disappointing loss but it’s not discouraging.”
Special teams miscues by Demons costly in opening loss to Bluejays
The battle for field position did not go the Demons’ way.
Demon baseball to face best in Class 5A
The Duncan baseball team will see the best Class 5A has to offer at the McAlester Shootout Thursday through Saturday.
Demon coach Tim Hightower described the event as a “pre-state tournament” because many of the teams attending are state tournament contenders.
Soccer teams finish season at home
The Duncan soccer teams won’t go to the postseason, but they have plenty to play for Friday night against Western Heights.
It’s the last home games for the Demons and it’s Senior Night. The girls will look to finish near .500 for the season, while the boys want a good showing against a tough opponent.
Chamber Golf Classic proves to be popular event
When word got out that entries would be accepted for the Duncan Chamber Golf Classic, set for Friday at the Duncan Golf and Tennis Club, it didn’t take long for people to respond.
As club general manager Mike Hansen put it: “They sent out an e-mail and filled it up in a day.”
Thunder look to bounce back
During the hey day of L.A. Lakers guard Kobe Bryant, a new term was added to the lexicon. Anyone who seemingly was able to slow down the prolific scorer was automatically dubbed the Kobe Stopper.
Players such as Ruben Patterson, Raja Bell, Shane Battier, Ron Artest and Bruce Bowen all had the tag attached to their name, despite Bryant putting up big numbers against them.
Demons hoping for top-four finish
The Duncan baseball team will need to take care of business next week in its final District 2-5A games.
The Demons are 7-5 in district (16-9 overall) after dropping both games of a doubleheader at Carl Albert Monday, 8-1 and 4-1. The Titans (13-1, 26-4) won the district title.
Girls soccer gets it done at Altus
The Duncan girls soccer team battled in a tough environment at Altus to win 1-0 Tuesday.
Lady Demon coach Delydia Gay said it was frustrating at times for the girls because of some questionable calls the officials made. But she was happy the girls pulled together to win.
Meshell shines as Outlaws beat Warriors
The Marlow baseball team got help from Beau Meshell on the mound and at the plate in a 7-4 home victory against Anadarko Tuesday.
Meshell held Anadarko to one earned run off three hits and did not walk a batter. He reached base three times, had one run batted in and scored one run.
Girls golfers take fourth at Deer Creek
The Duncan girls golfers took fourth at a tournament hosted by Deer Creek High School at Coffee Creek Golf Course in Edmond Tuesday.
Lady Demon coach Steve Etheridge said that the girls played as well as they have all year. Although the golfers struggled putting on some fast greens, Etheridge was happy with their overall performance.
Empire softball tries to spark offense
The Lady Bulldogs are trying to find a way to spice up their offense in preparation for the Class 3A slowpitch softball playoffs.
Empire has played a tough schedule, with four of the first seven games coming against ranked opponents. However, coach Tony Roberts thinks the team just needs to have some more timely hitting to get on the winning track.
Outlaws shut out Indians
Marlow baseball snapped a three-game losing streak with a 10-0 win at home against Comanche Monday.
“We needed to get this win and we got it,” said Marlow coach Jeff Brewer.
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