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Duncan tops Noble in wild 2OT thriller, 39-38, for first win of season

Bears suffer second consecutive one-point overtime loss

By Glen Brockenbush 

DUNCAN - For the second consecutive week, Noble played a district opponent many expected the Bears to handle.

For the second consecutive week, the Bears were pushed to overtime.

And for the second consecutive week, Noble wound up one point short.

Colin Fisher scored on a 3-yard touchdown run to give the Bears a six-point lead in the second overtime Friday night against Duncan. But on the two-point conversion attempt, Fisher was stopped short of the end zone.

Duncan quarterback Chris Kouts scored the tying touchdown before Jose Gonzalez - who had missed two field goals in regulation and whose field goal attempt in the first overtime was blocked - drilled the PAT to give Duncan its first win of the year, 39-38, in front of a rain-saturated crowd at Halliburton Stadium.

“Before that kick, I went to Jose and I said, ‘Whether you make this or miss this, I’m still gonna love ya,’” Duncan coach JT Cobble said. “The snap from Emilio (Harris) was perfect, the hold from Bryson (Brooksher) was perfect and the kick was perfect. So, good for these kids.”

The dramatic ending was a fitting conclusion to a game that featured everything from onside kicks and fumbles recovered for touchdowns to a 15-minute delay when the stadium lights went out at halftime.

Leading by 15 with seven minutes and change left, Noble appeared as if it might have a hard-fought, district road win wrapped up. But a 63-yard touchdown run by Kouts got the Demons within striking distance at 32-24 with 6:07 left.

On the kickoff, Gonzalez hit a high onside kick that was muffed by Noble and recovered by the Demons.

A 25-yard pass from Kouts to Eli Ramirez put Duncan at the 11, where Brooksher took the ball into the end zone on the very next play. A Kouts run secured the two-point conversion, tying the game up.

“On that onside, they kick it, we don’t back up, you just can’t do stuff like that,” Noble coach Greg George said. “We’ve just got to be smart and play better. But hat's off to (Duncan), they made one more play than we did.”

Big plays were abundant early.

Noble fumbled on the second play of the game, giving Duncan excellent field position. A bomb from Kouts to Preston Giles set the hosts up at the 3, and the junior signal-caller took it in from there.

It was the first of three touchdowns scored by the two teams in the game’s first three minutes.

Fisher, Noble's quarterback who is also committed to play baseball at the University of Arkansas, hooked up with Brandon Harper for a 60-yard score that was followed by a two-point conversion.

Duncan retook the lead when Kouts ran down the sideline for what looked like a 49-yard score, but had the ball stripped at the 1-yard line, though Duncan recovered the ball in the end zone for a touchdown.

Oddly enough, those would be the last points scored until less than 1:30 left before halftime. Once again, Fisher and Harper connected for 60 yards, while LT Taylor dashed 15 before Fisher finished the job with a 2-yard plunge.

As they would all night, the Bears went for two and got it.

A Gonzalez field goal from 30 yards out just seconds before the half ended gave Duncan a 17-16 advantage as the teams went to their respective locker rooms.

And while the Homecoming court prepared for their escorts, all of the stadium light banks went out. What was already going to be a 20-minute halftime stretched at least 15 minutes longer.

“As a coach, I hate it,” Cobble said. “We have a routine, 20 minute (halftime), then it’s basically two 20 minute (halftimes). And our problem all year has been the third quarter.”

And indeed, it was a quarter to forget for the Demon offense, with their first two drives ending with turnovers. A touchdown pass from Fisher to Taylor put the Bears up, 24-17.

That remained the score until a fourth-and-7 for Noble at the Duncan 36. Fisher threw a pretty lob that fell into the waiting arms of Harper for a score, and the two-point conversion made it 32-17.

But Kouts and the Demons weren’t ready to give up. And in that moment, it was up to the junior to lead his troops.

“The coaches, they just told me to be a leader, and that’s what I tried to do,” Kouts said. “I went out to the huddle and said, ‘Hey, game’s not over. We’ll play until the final whistle.'"

And that’s exactly what they did.

Duncan (1-5, 1-2 in District 5A-1) hosts Altus on Thursday, while Noble (3-3, 1-2) hosts Elgin.