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October 3, 2013

Demons prepare for Bulldogs

DUNCAN — Jim Holloway wasn’t sure that the Demons played with the same intensity last week that they did two weeks ago.

While the 61-6 outcome of the Duncan High School football team’s against Capitol Hill last Friday would indicate a strong performance, Holloway said the game film indicated the team wasn’t playing as well as it could have.

“What the guys need to understand — and this comes with being young and inexperienced — is that you have to give your best effort every game,” Holloway said. “You can’t lower your standard of excellence based on the level of your competition.”

So it will be important for the Demons (1-2) to raise their play as they head to Altus this Friday.

“Altus is probably not in the same league as Guthrie or Carl Albert,” Holloway said, “but we need to have that maximum amount of intensity. If it’s the same level as last week, it’s going to be a long night in Jackson County.”

But the good thing, the Demon coach said, is plenty of players who watched the film saw  how poorly they played. He believes they may have gotten the message.

“We’ll see if they answer the bell this week,” Holloway said.

Altus (1-3), like Duncan, won its District 1-5A opener, going to triple overtime against Chickasha in a 32-29 outcome. Also, like Duncan, the Bulldogs played a tough pre-district schedule, facing tough Texas school Vernon and two strong Class 6A programs in Eisenhower and Lawton.

And, Holloway said, because Altus played some good teams, Altus has only gotten better.

“Many times, as a coach, I had teams who started 0-3 or 1-2, but it makes a difference when you start your district schedule,” he said. “You know how to prepare for good teams and how to play against good teams.”

Altus runs a split-back offense and will run a combination of power and option plays.

“They make you think about how the defense will ine up and what their responsibilities will be,” Holloway said.

He added junior quarterback Tanner Cross can throw the ball well and make plays with his feet, plus Altus has good running backs in Taven Birdow and T.J. McGill.

On defense, Altus will generally run a four-man front, but  the Bulldogs will adjust their defense to the type of offense they play.

Although the teams might look evenly matched on paper, Holloway said the players need to be focused.

“We’ve got to get some of the players motivated,” he said. “We can’t afford to have one or two weak links in the offense, the defense or the kicking game.”

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