|10/20/19 - |
The Durant Lions entered Thursday night’s fall break matchup against Ada surrendering almost 36 points per game.
However, the Lions’ best defense against the Cougars was their ground and pound offense.
The Durant offense had the ball for a whopping 36 minutes and 44 seconds of the game, and that never allowed Ada to quite get in sync in a stunning 14-0 win over the Cougars at Norris Field.
Durant notched its first win of the season, improving to 1-6 overall and 1-3 in District 5A-3, while Ada dropped to 3-3 and 2-2.
The numbers Durant put up while playing keep-away were staggering.
• Time of possession: 36:44 to 11:16.
• First downs: 20 to 8.
• Total plays: 68 to 31.
• Total Offense: 295 yards to 157 yards.
And to make matters worse for the Cougars, during the short time the offense got its hands on the ball it committed three turnovers (all lost fumbles).
“Hat’s off to Durant and coach Richards and their game plan. They executed it to a T,” Ada head coach Chris Berus said following the game. “They kept the ball out of our hands long enough and when we did have it, we didn’t help ourselves. That combination gets you beat.”
It was Durant’s first shutout win against Ada since 1934, when Durant won 19-0. But the Cougars were shut out six times that season.
“They did a great job of moving the football and getting those scores (in the first half). A lot of that falls back on us from the other side of the football,” Berus said.
“Turning the ball over and not being in position when certain formations are called. Not catching the football and not putting the ball where it needs to be. We had some snap issues in the first half that slowed down some drives. It was a mistake-filled game,” he continued. “You’re talking to the one who’s to blame for it. We all need to take ownership to improve and work towards getting better in those areas that are costing us some football games.”
The Lions didn’t waste any time to begin wasting time off the clock. After forcing Ada to punt to start the game, the Lions drove 77 yards in a methodical 16 plays. The biggest play of the drive was a 20-yard pass from quarterback Jaxon Ingram to receiver Noah McCarson on a 4th-and-6 play.
Three plays later, running back Austin Reinecker crashed into the end zone from two yards out for the touchdown. Zach White hit the extra point, and Durant led 7-0 with just 2:10 remaining in the opening quarter.
Ada put together a nice drive of its own and tried to answer. Running back Kohner Gallagher rumbled 33 yards for a first down with his only carry of the game. The Cougars got to the nine after rushes by quarterback Jake Shannon and tailback Tyler Peters before a combination sack by Durant’s Reinecker and Luke Gaines short-circuited the drive. The usually steady Phillip Jones missed a 29-yard field goal, leaving the Lions ahead 7-0 at the 9:46 mark of the second period.
Then, Durant did it again. The Lions drove 80 yards in 17 plays. The biggest play during that march was a 15-yard pass from Ingram to Dalton White. A pass interference penalty kept the drive alive on a 3rd-and-goal play, and Reinecker scored his second touchdown of the game on a 2-yard run with just 22 seconds left in the first half. Another Zach White PAT kick put Durant up 14-0.
Jarron Christian looked to get Ada some good field position with a 37-yard kickoff return, but he fumbled at the end of the play and Durant’s Alex Jamison recovered, and the Cougars went to the halftime locker room down by two touchdowns.
Durant got the ball to start the third quarter and again marched the ball down the field, chewing up more clock and gaining 52 yards.
However, Gallagher and Braden Maloy teamed up to sack Ingram on third down, and Zach White missed a 30-yard field goal wide right at the 6:17 mark of the third period.
The Cougars then got the ball to midfield. Manny LaValley, who took over at quarterback on that drive, tossed a 14-yard pass to Shannon, but the ball was jarred loose and recovered by Durant’s Branham Skean.
The Ada defense came up with a big stop on Durant’s next possession, and the AHS offense took over at its own 33.
LaValley connected with Christian for a nice 33-yard gain, but that play was called back after an illegal formation penalty. Three straight incompletions then forced Ada to punt.
Ada made another stop on defense, and a 19-yard punt by Zach White left the Cougars with some more decent field position.
However, the Cougars lost another fumble — this one recovered by Reinecker — which was a big blow Ada couldn’t bounce back from.
Berus and company hit the road again Oct. 25 for a Week 8 matchup with Bishop Kelley. The Comets improved to 4-3 overall and 3-1 in the district after defeating Glenpool 40-12 Thursday night.