When it comes to beating Lawton MacArthur on the gridiron, a certain group of Duncan Demons know the key formula for doing so.
Three-year starters Dylan Dismuke, Dylan Laurens and Tyler Wilkins have never lost to the Highlanders. They beat them in seventh and eighth grade. They beat them when they were on the freshman team at DHS. And they’ve won the previous two meetings on the varsity squad.
Two years ago, Duncan defeated Mac 31-28. Last year, the Demons blocked an extra point to preserve a 35-34 victory, thus making the trio of seniors 2-0 against MacArthur as varsity starters and 5-0 since seventh grade.
Another close affair is expected Friday night when the Highlanders visit Halliburton Stadium, as the two teams sit at the top of District 5A-2 with identical records overall (4-2) and in the district (3-0).
Experience in this game is a big plus and the trio of Demons believe they have what it takes.
“We’ve never lost to Mac,” Wilkins said. “We know how big this game is and the big implications it has. All the games we play are big, but this one is the biggest. It’s basically a district championship game.”
Playing in the trenches against Lawton Mac the past two seasons gives Dismuke and Laurens a bit of confidence heading into the game.
“They (Lawton Mac) are fast up front,” Laurens said. “They get off the ball quick and run to the ball well. It’ll be up to us to stop them.”
Dismuke echoed Laurens’ sentiments and added that the challenge ahead of a revamped offensive line is the biggest of the season thus far. Two starters on the line, Jacquan Beck and Corey Hamilton, both suffered injuries last week and will be game time decisions, according to head coach Jim Holloway.
“We’ve got the possibility of having one or two younger guys in there,” Dismuke said. “Mac has good technique and pursuit of the ball. We just have to pick them up and help them get through the game, not get frustrated when things don’t go our way.”
That is perhaps the biggest key for these three seniors. All three are doing their part to make sure everyone on the team is focused on beating MacArthur.
“I told one of the sophomores (Wednesday) that this is the biggest game they will ever play as a Duncan Demon,” said Wilkins. “We’re just trying to get them fired up and ready to go.
“I don’t know the last time Duncan beat them three straight years. It’d be huge if we could go 3-0 against them in our high school careers.”
Dismuke said the rivalry has grown on the Demons over the past few years and he hopes to keep the winning streak alive.
“We pretty much don’t do any talking,” he said. “We just want to show it on the field that we are the better team. We have to be the best on the field, no matter what is said off of it.”
— Ben Whitehead is the sports editor for The Duncan Banner. He can be reached at 255-5354, Ext. 165, or via e-mail at email@example.com.