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Cougars In Final Tune Up For District
09/19/19 -

The Ada High football team doesn’t really need to exorcise many Demons before it makes the first road trip to battle the Duncan Demons.

According to head coach Chris Berus, the Cougars need to simply execute better on both sides of the ball than they did in a Week 2 48-29 loss to Noble at Norris Field.

“Ultimately, it comes down to execution, and we did not do that well in all three phases of the game,” Berus said.

Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday at the Duncan High School football field.

The Demons opened the season with a 59-35 home win over Class 6A Putnam City West but escaped with a 17-14 road win over Class 4A Elgin last Friday.

“Elgin played harder than we did, really all four quarters,” DHS head coach J.T. Cobble told the Duncan Banner.

Berus said the Demons are far better than they appeared in the slim win over the Owls.

“The reality is, when you’re looking at Noble on video and you’re looking at Duncan on video, Duncan’s better,” he said. “Now they don’t have that type of quarterback (that Noble does) and any time you have a dynamic quarterback, it becomes a great equalizer for any defense. Duncan’s got more team speed, and they are very disciplined up front.”

Jaxon Gregston, a 6-1 senior, is the starting quarterback for Duncan. Through two games, he has completed 23-of-30 passes for 360 yards with five touchdowns and one interception. Leading the DHS ground attack is Desmond Pettit with 14 carries for 152 yards and a TD. Dawson Ledford has rushed for 144 yards on 18 totes.

Javion Dangerfield has proven to be a big-play threat at wide receiver for Duncan. He has seven catches for 180 yards and four touchdowns.

“They have three really fast guys and two that medaled at the state track meet, I know that. We have that to contend with,” Berus said. “They’ll run a spread offense similar to what we saw last week.”

J.T. Cobble is the son of legendary prep coach Tom Cobble, who coached at Chickasha for many years.

“They’re well-coached. Coach Cobble is a coach’s kid, and his dad is a Hall of Famer. He does a really good job of putting their kids in a place to be successful.” Berus said. “We have another good test rolling into district play.”

The Noble effort

Ada’s defense had a ton of trouble trying to slow down a Noble offense led by quarterback Austin Fisher, who threw for 122 yards and two scores and rushed for 56 yards and two more TDs.

During one pivotal stretch in the game, the Bears scored 27 straight points.

It was a far cry from what the Ada defense was able to do to the Ardmore Tigers in a 7-0 Week 1 victory.

“We didn’t make enough plays. Defensively, we had a hard time tackling and didn’t take enough opportunities on offense. There was a lot of lack of execution in all three phases of the ballgame,” Berus said. “The biggest issue was not being able to tackle. That was a huge factor.”

Berus said Fisher and company didn’t do anything that surprised the Cougar coaching staff.

“We knew the quarterback was as good as he showed. We knew if we didn’t tackle in space well and pursue the football the way we were capable of, we knew we’d be in for a long night. That’s exactly what happened,” Berus said.

While the Cougars need to be better for four quarters, Berus said the Bears are a talented squad.

“There’s no doubt about it. They’re a really good football team. That quarterback makes them go. He’s a great high school competitor. They have a chance to have a successful season,” he said.

Loss is like good medicine

Two big plays hurt the Cougars. Seconds after scoring a touchdown and grabbing a 17-14 lead, Noble’s Trevor Lorenz returned the kickoff that followed 85 yards for a score.

In the third quarter, a 75-yard interception return for a score put Noble up by 24.

“Special teams touchdowns are not only point-providers, but they’re momentum changers,” Berus said.

“A game like Friday night is good medicine. Medicine doesn’t taste good going down and it’s sometimes hard to swallow, but the benefits from medicine is a cure or to help alleviate the issue. That’s what Friday night was for us. You want to have that medicine early in the season,” he said. “It was a good learning opportunity for all of us — coaching staff and players. We all have to take responsibility for where we fall short.”

Ground and pound

Overshadowed in the loss was a nice night from Ada senior tailback Tyler Peters, who finished with 106 yards on 14 carries. That included an impressive 46-yard touchdown run that gave Ada its last lead at 17-14.

“He’s a tough guy to bring down. He’s got some deceptive speed because he is so big. You have a tendency to think he’s just a mudder and not as much quarterhorse, but on that long run he didn’t get caught,” Berus said.

“He can run with a little bit of juice, but I think where he’s toughest is that first defender is not bringing that guy down. It’s not really comfortable to tackle that young man,” he said.

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