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The Indians fell just short of their goal of making the playoffs with an 18-12 loss to Frederick.
Even with a road trip to Hinton — who is winless in district play except for a forfeit victory against Riverside Indian — still left, Comanche (3-6, 2-4) cannot make it into the playoffs this season. Frederick (4-5, 4-2) assured itself of a playoff berth on Friday, but will play Hobart next week to determine who finishes third.
Despite the loss, Comanche coach Steve Justus said he is proud of the way the players competed.
“They fought and battled,” Justus said. “We led the game 6-0 for a little while. We played hard, but we knew their speed was something that we were going to have to deal with.”
The speed was the deciding factor, in Justus’ opinion. He said there wasn’t much the team could do to prepare for the pure athleticism that the Bombers brought to the field. One year removed from a 13-1 season, which saw Frederick lose to Oklahoma Christian in the Class 2A state semifinals, it returned a few of its skill position players, and they were too much to handle for Comanche.
“On film didn’t even do it justice to how fast they were,” Justus said. “Our kids understood that real quick.”
This forced adjustments from Justus and the rest of the coaching staff. Instead of using the regular starters, they started roaming their own sidelines to find the fastest players available. It worked for the most part, and the Indians were in the game until the end. Yet, it was the combination of speed and missed tackles proved too difficult to overcome.
“We actually had the guy in our grasp and spun him around, but we just didn’t get him down,” Justus said. “Then the guy made extra yards.”
Up next for Comanche is that road trip to Hinton (3-6, 0-5). Last year, the Indians won 77-24 on their home turf.