Turnovers abound in Duncan
DUNCAN - Turnovers anyone?
In what ultimately became its downfall, Duncan coughed up four turnovers three of which came in the first half and suffered an agonizingly close loss to Putnam City West, 16-15, at home on Friday night.
Forcing three Putnam City West turnovers couldn't even provide a remedy for the Demons' scoring woes. Duncan (1-1) went scoreless in the second and third quarters and only mustered one touchdown in each the first and fourth quarters thanks to two interceptions and two fumbles.
"You can't turn the ball over four times," Duncan coach Craig Benson said. "Three turnovers in the first half and we couldn't ever sustain drives. We just made bad decisions."
One less turnover easily could've put Duncan on the winning side of this low-scoring nail-biter. In a game that featured seven total turnovers, holding onto the ball became a luxury.
And when it was all said and done, it was Putnam City West (1-0) which was able to hold onto the ball.
Jonathon Babineaux, who had 12 carries for 44 yards and a touchdown, leapt in for a touchdown from five yards out to with 5:04 left to keep Duncan alive.
"What we didn't do was feed Babineaux the ball enough because he ran like a truck," Benson said.
Coby Kirkland rolled out to his right on the two point conversion, and despite his pass being deflected, J.J. Harris used stupendous concentration skills to hold onto the ball near the pylon. That cut the deficit to 16-15, but Duncan still wound up one point short.
The Patriots milked the clock away in the final five minutes and converted a critical third-and-five with 90 seconds left thanks to seven yards on a sweep to Arich Ansley who was by far the player of the game as he snagged a crucial first half interception and scored the Patriots' only touchdown on a 33-yard scamper at the end of the first quarter.
After that first down, Duncan with only two timeouts left wasn't able to prevent the clock from striking midnight.
"I'm not going to take anything away from Putnam City West," Benson said. "They are a good football team. They are tougher than we thought. They will knock you out. They will bring the wood. And they're talented."
Duncan, meanwhile, struggled to move the chains after one solid drive late in the first quarter.