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Duncan Defeats Cougars
09/18/18 -

Just a week after putting 45 points on the board in a win over a talented Noble club, the Ada High football team couldn’t find the end zone in a disappointing 17-3 loss to No. 10 Duncan Friday night at Norris Field.

The Demons stayed unbeaten at 3-0 on the year and have allowed just one touchdown so far. Ada stumbled to 1-2.

The Cougars had three untimely turnovers and had eight penalties (and a few more that were declined) for 80 yards. Those too seemed to come at the worst of times for the Ada offense.

“Turnovers and penalties (were the difference). We have to clean up our mistakes to put points on the board,” said Ada head coach Chris Berus when asked to compare the Cougar offense from Week 2 to Week 3.

Disaster struck early for Ada. Braden Maloy had thrown Ducan quarterback Tate Wilkins for a five-yard loss on a third-and-long play to short-circuit the Demons’ first drive.

However, Duncan punter Rafael Carrasco pinned Ada deep when his kick rolled dead at the AHS 5-yard line.

On the Cougars’ second offensive play, Carroll turned to his left and tried to toss a short pass. But the ball was tipped, and Duncan’s Roderick Standokes made a diving catch to intercept the ball just moments before it hit the ground.

Two plays later, J.J. Harris plunged across the goal line from a yard out, and a PAT kick put Duncan on top 7-0 at the 5:56 mark of the first period.

Ada’s second possession ended with a lost fumble at the DHS 37-yard line. Duncan appeared to be driving in for another score, but Ada defender Tanner Gilliam intercepted Wilkins at the 16.

Duncan — starting at its own 2-yard line after a nice punt by Ada’s Tovan Thomsen — put together an impressive 14-play, 73-yard drive early in the second quarter. However, it stalled at the Ada 8-yard line. Carrasco booted a 25-yard field goal to give the Demons a 10-0 lead at the 8:22 mark of the second period.

Ada followed with its most promising drive of the first half. The Cougars moved the ball from their own 26 to the DHS 19. That drive was highlighted by a 23-catch from Clay Balthrop and a 14-yard run by Kohner Gallagher.

A delay-of-game penalty pushed Ada back and after an incomplete pass on third and long, the Cougars settled for a 42-yard field goal attempt by Tovan Thomsen that sailed wide left.

Duncan went to the break on top 10-0. The Demons had out-gained Ada 167-81 through the first two quarters. Duncan’s offense was its best defense in the first half. The Demons used a steady ground game to keep the clock running and keep the Cougar offense off the field. Duncan ran 41 offensive plays, compared to 22 for the home team.

Berus was notably frustrated with Ada’s unforced mistakes.

“It’s a lack of discipline. The offense moved the ball in spurts. But we simply made more mistakes than we could overcome to be successful,” he said. “We were able to string together a few drives but fizzled out due to penalties and mistakes.”

Ada got the ball to start the third quarter and proceeded to march right down the field. Matt Maloy broke off a pair of 14-yard runs, and Carroll added a 19-yard scramble for a big first down.

Later in the drive, Carroll found a hole and made his most impressive run of the year for 33 yards down to the DHS 2. But that play was cut in half by another AHS penalty. From there, the drive stalled, and Thomsen booted a 36-yard field goal to put Ada on the scoreboard and trim the Ducan lead to 10-3 at the 8:09 mark of the third frame.

Duncan responded with a time-consuming 11-play, 74-yard scoring drive that followed Ada’s field goal. Johnathan Babineaux, who led the Duncan ground game with 17 carries for 108 yards, bulled into the end zone from two yards out to give Duncan a 17-3 edge with 5:01 left in the third period.

And that was all she wrote.

Ada’s next drive ended with a fumble recovery by J.J. Harris, who looked like he was on his way to a strip and score after recovering the ball. He was streaking down the sideline, without a helmet, but he was ruled down by contact at the Ada 47.

The Cougars marched into Duncan territory on each of their final four drives but turned the ball over on downs every time.

Ada actually outgained Duncan 315-275, thanks to 234 yards of total offense in the second half.

Carroll completed 12-of-28 passes for 133 yards with the only unlucky interception. Matt Maloy was Ada’s leading rusher, finishing with 76 yards on nine carries. Carroll added 43 rushing yards.

Seven different Ada receivers caught passes, led by Jake Shannon with three grabs for 26 yards.

The Cougars will look to rebound Friday night at Coweta to open District 5A-3 play. The Tigers dropped a 48-20 decision to Catoosa in Week 3.

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