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.
Demons take two from Del City
The Duncan baseball team swept a doubleheader at Del City Tuesday.
The Demons won the first game 13-0. Dylan Zawicki got his fourth win of the season. Duncan got two-run singles from Mason Hightower, Hunter Phillips and Collin Klingensmith. Scott Cooper and Zawicki each had one RBI.
Bronchos survive Fletcher
Coach Jeff Jones realized he made a mistake after Tuesday’s 8-7 win at home versus Fletcher.
He saw that his freshman pitcher, Dylan Jones, was struggling but he still hoped that the Bronchos could finish off the win with him on the mound. Jones had only given up one run in six full innings. Why shouldn’t the coach stick with him?
Girls tennis tops at Guthrie
The Duncan girls tennis team won a tournament hosted by Guthrie in Oklahoma City Tuesday.
The tournament was moved from Monday because of weather. It didn’t affect the Demons, as they reached the finals in all four divisions and won three.
Soccer teams do well despite losses to Antlers
Although the Duncan soccer teams didn’t score a goal against Deer Creek Tuesday at home, the coaches liked how the teams played against a tough opponent.
The boys particularly made it tough on the Antlers in a 2-0 loss. Duncan kept Deer Creek off balance had plenty of opportunities to scores, but couldn’t finish shots.
Golfers sixth at Fort Sill
Windy conditions made it difficult on the Duncan boys golf team at the Class 5A state preview tournament at Fort Sill Monday.
“It was a rough day on everybody,” said Demon coach Lindy Welborn. “I’m betting (the golfers) were concerned more with how they were going to get warm than what the’d get out of their next shot.”
Glenna L. Gray
Glenna L. Gray, 67 of Oklahoma City a former long time Duncan resident passed away Friday, April 11, 2014, at her home in Oklahoma City.
Kelly headed to Southeastern
Duncan senior Connor Kelly signed Monday to play football for Southeastern Oklahoma University.
Kelly, who played quarterback and defensive back for the Demons, considered several options before joining his father Kevin’s alma mater. Connor Kelly is also a standout wrestler and hurdler for the Demons.
Demon home game becomes road doubleheader
The Duncan baseball team will head to Del City for a doubleheader Tuesday after its scheduled home Monday game was postponed.
Demon coach Tim Hightower said Del City had some transportation issues that kept the Eagles from making it to Duncan. Snow in Del City delayed school buses and one would not have been available to bring the players to Duncan until between 4:30 and 5 p.m. That would mean delaying the start time of Monday’s game until later in the evening, when it would have been cold.
Phillips’ pitching gives CHS hope in loss
In a 4-0 loss Saturday, No. 11 Central High stood toe to toe with No. 4 Sterling in the Jake Leffler Wooden Bat Tournament final.
Sophomore Cooper Phillips pitched a complete game for the Bronchos (16-7), allowing just one earned run, five hits and no walks. Coach Jeff Jones said with the team’s usual production, the Bronchos could have won the game.
Weather makes things tough at state preview
Cold, windy conditions greeted players at the Class 5A state girls golf preview tournament at Duncan Golf and Tennis Club Monday.
Duncan girls golf coach Steve Etheridge described the conditions as miserable. The golfers who came to experience the course that will be the site of the Class 5A state tournament didn’t have good scores because of the weather.
- More Sports Headlines
- Demons take two from Del City