TKO by a thousand jabs
ALTUS - It's rare that a team that doesn't recover any of a game's four fumbles beats a rival with little trouble.
But with a running game and defense like Altus', the pressure to turn those takeaways into points is paramount.
Duncan wasn't up to the task as Class 5A No. 4 Altus shook off those turnovers and turned in a resounding 35-15 win at home on Friday to move to 5-0 on the season.
"We feel great, but we just have to focus on the game next week at Ardmore," senior quarterback Jake Vargas said.
The Bulldogs showed why they are a contender in 5A in the second half as they wore down Duncan (2-3) with a steady stream of dive plays for more than 200 yards. The strategy was simple: TKO by a thousand jabs.
"Once we started squaring down and giving to the B-back and let the offense go to work, we started wearing them down," Altus head coach Todd Vargas said. "That's part of what we do. We have big offensive linemen and really strong running backs."
The jabs eventually opened up the hooks in the form of seven runs of 10-plus yards, including a 35-yard bulldozing run from Izaiah Hall and a 21-yard touchdown run from Brendan Phillips. Eight different Bulldogs carried the ball for 387 yards ñ three players eclipsed the century mark.
Phillips led the way with 109 yards on 16 carries and the Bulldogs' final two TDs. Hall ran for 105 yards on 12 carries and Vargas finished with 101 on 18 carries.
"We love it," Coach Vargas said of eight guys carrying the ball. "We're a brotherhood. We don't care who gets what stats. We love it when multiple people can contribute. They all want the ball, but they all encourage the other guy."
After its promising first drive stalled and Duncan got a hand on a punt, Altus' defense went to work. Jake Vargas intercepted Coby Kirkland and returned 46 yards for a touchdown. It was the first of three interceptions on the night, two of which were by Vargas, Altus' standout quarterback/defensive back.
Duncan's offense struggled mightily in the first half totaling just 88 yards and turning it over three times.