For the third time in three seasons Guthrie and Duncan will meet on the gridiron and for the second straight year it will be the season opener.
The BlueJays travel to Halliburton Stadium Friday to open the 2011 football season with a 7:30 kick. Guthrie last visited Duncan in 2009 when they pulled out a 20-12 first round playoff win. A season ago, the Jays shut-out the Demons inside Jelsma Stadium 25-0.
And much like last season Duncan’s veteran head coach Jim Holloway is not approaching Friday’s game as a payback for the two previous losses.
“Players do remember and coaches remember the game, but you can’t go out there with a personal vendetta,” Holloway told the Duncan Banner. “You’ve got to be focused about what the task is right now.”
Holloway, who is set to begin his 36th season of coaching, will look toward his quarterback and running back to get the Demons offense going. Something they were unable to do in last season’s opener. The Demons return third-year starter in Brandon Silva.
Last season Silva threw for 1,141 yards with 550 rushing yards while adding six passing scores and six more on the ground. In his sophomore season, he threw for nearly 1,000 yards. In 2009 against the Jays, he proved to be a running threat when he took off for a 44-yard touchdown score. Silva measures out at six-foot and 228 pounds.
Silva’s primary passing targets will come from seniors Jared Griffin (6’2, 171) and Daniel McCoy (6’2, 171). Griffin hauled in 25 receptions for 422 yards a season ago while McCoy gathered 19 catches for 235 yards. Holloway said what separates Griffin from most is his size and his physical presence. McCoy, who also is a 3-year letterman in baseball, is more of a possession receiver.
Duncan returns top rusher in senior Jordan Laskey, who is gaining Division I interest despite his 5’5, 172 pound frame. Laskey ran for over 800 yards and scored 12 times his junior season and his coach says he is their “fireplug”.
The Demons will mix in a variety of fullbacks to help lead the way for Laskey and will plug in Silva’s twin brother Bradley Silva (5’11, 206) to relief Laskey with some carries.
The offensive line had a chunk taken out with the graduation of their top two lineman, but the Demons return James Gibson (6’1, 218) and Caleb Longest (6’1, 223). The Demon line averages out to 6’1 and 242 pounds.
The Demons in total will start seven seniors and return eight total starters from last year’s 6-5 season that ended in the first round with an overtime loss at Carl Albert.
Bradley Silva, who finished 2010 with 77 tackles at his linebacker position, will lead the Demons 4-3 defense.
McCoy and Griffin will lead the secondary at the safety positions with Ryan Haley (5’6, 154) and Tanner Norton (5’9, 162) at the cornerbacks. The Demons are fully aware of Guthrie’s junior quarterback Bryan Dutton and the arsenal of the Jays offense.
“The thing about Dutton at quarterback, he’s just such a competitor and a winner,” Holloway again told the Duncan newspaper. “This will be the third time we’ve played him, and I think he only has four incomplete passes in two games. He knows how to throw the football and he’s got kids who can catch it.”
Head Coach vs Head Coach
Duncan’s Jim Holloway has three state championships under his belt with all three coming at Wynnewood. Holloway begins his 36th year as a head coach and has his Demons in the right direction for a run at the 5A-2 district title.
BlueJay head man Rafe Watkins is set to begin his 11th season wearing the royal blue and white. Watkins has won two state championships, 2002 and 2007, with the Jays.
In head-to-head action, Watkins is 2-1. Holloway’s Altus Bulldogs took down the Jays 21-0 in the first round of the 2001 playoffs, but Watkins has won the last two.
Guthrie – Duncan Series
The Jays have been on the short end of the series with Duncan winning 12 of the 15 meetings.
Listen to the Game
You can hear the game on Triple Play Sports Radio 105.1 Fm and streaming on the world-wide web at www.GuthrieSportsPage.com. Hear the call with Chris Evans and Casey Porter. The pregame starts at 7:00.
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