The Duncan Banner
Every Monday during football season, I will take some time to examine the week that was.
After nine weeks, most area teams have already determined their postseason fate. Three, however, won’t know until the final horn has sounded on the regular season if they will have a Week 11.
For Central High, it’s pretty simple, a win equals a postseason berth. Two teams in District B-2 have locked up spots, leaving Paoli, Cyril and Central High to fight for the last two. Paoli plays Geary and will more than likely win to clinch a spot, leaving Cyril and Central to duel for the final spot.
Marlow can do nothing to help or hurt itself as it plays a non-district game. The Outlaws fate will rest on Mount St. Mary (0-5 in District 3A-1). Marlow needs Mount St. Mary to upset Little Axe to get into the postseason.
Comanche’s chances are slim, but it can force a three-way tie for the final playoff spot in its district if it beats Hinton and Hobart loses to Frederick. The tiebreaker would come down margin of victory for Comanche, Hinton and Hobart.
With Del City driving late in a close game that put the district title on the line, fans, players and refs couldn’t help but laugh at the scene taking place at midfield.
As players separated at the end of a play, two players didn’t want to separate. Check that, two players couldn’t separate.
Duncan senior lineman Derek McKnight had his fingers stuck between two bars of an opponent’s face mask, and they were in there good.
After attempts to pull out his fingers were unsuccessful, referees grabbed a screwdriver and tried to pried apart the bars on the facemask so McKnight could pull his fingers out.
The whole scene took about 2 minutes and McKnight was not penalized for illegal hands to the face. I suppose the sore pinky was punishment enough, though.
Coach of the Year
A great coach is someone who can establish a reputation of excellence and put a competitive team on the field year-in, year-out.
When selecting an Area Coach of the Year, however, I have always used a different formula: Which coach (and team) most exceeded expectations?
By that formula, I think it’s a three-man race. Tony Roberts has Empire playoff bound after an impressive season thus far, fielding a team much stronger than many expected.
Darren Lamar came into his first season at Central High with little time to install a new system, but it didn’t seem to matter as his team reeled off five straight wins and is now a win away from making the playoffs.
No doubt the team that lost the most to graduation was Duncan, which lost a senior class filled with two- and three-year starters. But with an inexperienced squad and a completely new system, Jim Holloway has Duncan back in the playoffs.
After each week I will update, who I think is in the running for Area Player of the Year, the same way that analysts debate who is in the running for the Heisman Award after each week of college football.
And then there were two.
With just one week left in the regular season, there are two definitive frontrunners for Area Player of the Year: Kevin Harris of Central High and Dallen Mercer of Velma-Alma.
Both shined in big matchups against area foes on Friday. Harris ran for 309 yards and four touchdowns in a win over Waurika, while Mercer rushed for 210 yards and two TDs in a win over Empire.
Harris, a junior, has had a better overall season, but Mercer has played better in the second half of the year. What each does in the next week or two could very well determine who comes out with the award.
Still in the running are Comanche quarterback Kale Reed and Empire’s Dillon Twigg, but they would have to do something special to overtake the lead.
Greg Crews is sports editor of The Duncan Banner. He can be reached at 580-255-5354, Ext. 143 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.