Duncan hosts Fort Thomas on Thursday

Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: Isaac Harris (11) runs untouched to paydirt at the start of the second half. The 4th-and-15 run was followed by a Sean Webb conversion run that knotted the score 36-36 with 2:20 elapsed. The visiting Lordsburg Mavericks left Packer Field with a 64-36 win on Aug. 18. Duncan hosts Fort Thomas for a region contest on Thursday, Aug. 24.

Wildkats open Coats era with a home loss

By Raymundo Frasquillo

DUNCAN – Fort Thomas visits Packer Field on Thursday, Aug. 24 for a 1A South Region contest. The kickoff is 7 p.m. It will be the Apaches’ second region contest and the first for Duncan.

The teams have met 21 times in the previous 20 seasons (2003-22), with the Apaches having an 11-10 advantage and the Wildkats a 32-29 (648-586) edge or 3-point  margin for 20 regular season games. Fort Thomas won the 2019 first-round playoff contest 26-6.

Both teams opened the season with a loss last week, Duncan by 28 (36-64) points to New Mexico Lordsburg and Fort Thomas by 44 (0-44) to Sells Baboquivari.

Fort Thomas Apaches

The Apaches are 3-2 over the Wildkats and averaged a 31-27 (156-134) score per game or 4-point margin during the previous five regular-season pairings. The Fort won 22-6 (2018), 44-22 (2020), and 48-20 (2021) while Duncan prevailed 26-20 (2019) and 50-22 (2022).

Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: Sean Webb (16) delivers the ball as the defensive player gets nearer.

Fort Thomas has three consecutive non-region contests afterward, at Superior (Sept. 1), with Dishchii’bikoh (Sept. 8), and at Tempe Prep (Sept. 15) before facing four consecutive region games.

The Fort hosts San Manuel (Sept. 22), visits Elfrida Valley Union (Sept. 29) and Saint David (Oct. 6), and ends the regular season at Kearny Ray (Oct. 13).

Duncan Wildkats

The Dan Coats-coached Wildkats have five more region contests remaining, at San Manuel (Sept. 1), at Saint David (Sept. 8), with Baboquivari (Sept. 22), at Ray (Sept. 29), and at Valley Union (Oct. 6).

Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: The Duncan offensive unit debuted during the home opener with Lordsburg on Aug. 18. Sophomore Joshua Free (65) snapped the ball to start the play.

1A South Region

The other region pairing resulted in a 50-0 win over Ray for Saint David. San Manuel fell 0-38 to Heber Mogollon.

To date, Baboquivari and Saint David are both 1-0 in the region and overall, both Fort Thomas and Ray are 0-1 in the region and overall, Duncan and San Manuel are both 0-1 overall, and Valley Union opens the season this week.

Lordsburg – 64, Duncan – 36

The Wildkats trailed 28-36 to start the second half but tied it on their initial possession, scoring on 4th-and-15 with 2:20 elapsed.

Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: Duncan captains led teammates in the post-game ritual. Senior Wildkats Adriano Burrola (80), Cutter Scarsella (5), and Sean Webb (16) met Lordsburg juniors Victor Valdez (22) and Zeke DeLaO( 44).

Duncan recovered a fumbled Mavericks’ ensuing first down, turned the ball over on downs after five plays; was intercepted four times during its next six possessions, and punted on the other two.

Lordsburg scored four times during its other six second-half possessions. The Mavericks covered 98 yards in four plays, 46 yards in one play, 55 yards in six plays, punted on 4th-and-21, covered 93 yards in six plays, and twice took a knee to run down the clock.