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Guthrie-Duncan set to kick 2012 season off

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The Guthrie and Duncan football series has been played with streaks and that is a trend the BlueJays are looking to keep in tact when the Demons travel to Jelsma Stadium Friday night for the season opener of the 2012 high school football season.

The two programs will meet for the fourth straight year with the BlueJays winning the three previous match-ups, including last years 36-0 win inside Duncan’s Halliburton Stadium.

Guthrie Football once again can be heard on Triple Play Sports Radio 105.1 FM, or world-wide at www.GuthrieSportsPage.com.

Guthrie head coach Rafe Watkins is expecting his squad will be getting the Demons best shot after the Jays controlled last years game from the opening drive en route to going undefeated and claiming the programs third state championship.

“You want to get people’s best shot. That’s the fun game and that makes you play better as a team and as a unit because you are going to get their best shot,” Watkins said.

Watkins noted Duncan is a physical team on both sides of the ball on the offensive and defensive lines.

Duncan leads the overall series with the Jays 12-4, but Guthrie has won the last three match-ups.

The offensive line, who averages out six-foot and 260 pounds, is commanded on the left side with senior Bryan Bradburry and junior Daniel Moore. Senior right guard Caleb Longest will help aid the Demons Wing T offense, that will look to run the ball with various styles.

Duncan, who a season ago averaged 32 points a game, may depend on two quarterbacks with senior Tanner Norton (5’9, 180) and junior Connor Kelly (5’8, 160). The duo combined to go 1-4 with two interceptions in their final scrimmage last week against Lawton.

Kelly completed the lone pass, but it went for a score 0f 68 yards. Along with the touchdown strike, Kelly ran for 22 yards on four carries.

Senior Logan Gadbow (5’5, 175) and junior Je’ Mario (5’9, 159) are expected to get a good chunk of carries for the Demons in the run-happy offense, but the Demons will have some options down the field with receivers.

Senior Ryan Haley (5’6, 162) was injured last season returns and is threat if he gets into the open field. Fellow senior Jack Braught (6’3, 172) brought in the 68-yard touchdown score in the Lawton scrimmage and is a pre-season all-state caliber punter.

On defense, the Demons return five starters and are led by their senior defensive ends in John Jones (5’9, 221) and Cameron McGill (6’0, 220).

Duncan head coach Jim Holloway likes the nucleus of his team and over the course of the season hopes to see his youth mature to help the team’s depth.

“Coach Holloway is as a fine a coach as there is in the state of Oklahoma. I look up to him a great deal and he’s going have his team ready to play,” Watkins said.

Last 5 seasons for Jays and Demons

2011 – 14-0 – State Champions
2010 – 11-2
2009 – 8-5
2008 – 10-2
2007 – 14-0 – State Champions

2011 – 8-4
2010 – 6-5
2009 – 8-3
2008 – 5-5
2007 – 9-3

Guthrie vs Duncan Series

Guthrie has won the last three games in the past three seasons, including a 20-12 first round playoff game in 2009. Overall, Duncan leads the series 12-4, including playoff wins in 1978, 1991, and 1993.

2011 Guthrie 36-0 at Duncan – Game Story
2010 Guthrie 25-0 at Guthrie – Game Story
2009 Guthrie 20-12 at Duncan – Game Story

Watkins vs Holloway

Watkins leads Holloway 3-1.

The first meeting between the two was Watkins first season in Guthrie (2001) and Holloway’s Altus Bulldogs shut-out the Jays 21-0 inside Jelsma Stadium in the first round of the playoffs. Since then, Watkins has won three straight.

Both coaches have three state championships under their belts. Holloway, who is entering his 37th season as a head coach, earned all three of his at Wynnewood High School.

Duncan getting comfortable with playoffs

Duncan has a proud tradition with seven state championships, despite the last title coming in 1984, but will again will contend for the 5A-1 district title, but must over come Lawton MacArthur, who has won the district the past two seasons.

The Demons have made three straight playoffs and have finished in the top two of the district four of the last seven seasons. Prior to 2005, Duncan had not qualified for the playoffs since 1997.

Watkins to sit out for first four games

Watkins will be forced to sit the first four games of the season in the stands due to penalties handed down by the OSSAA last year just before the start of the playoffs. Related story: Guthrie to play in the playoffs

Hold onto your hats

Sportscaster Bob Barry Jr. and Chopper 4 of KFOR will be landing on the baseball field to take in the Guthrie-Duncan game.

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