Duncan travels to San Manuel on Friday

Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: Duncan senior Sean Webb (16) turns to hand off to Joseph Nandino (37). The freshman was one of four Wildkats advancing the ball against Fort Thomas. Duncan prevailed 12-0 on Aug. 24. The 1-1 Wildkats meet the 0-2 Panthers in Superior on Friday, Sept. 1.

Wildkats even series with Apaches

By Raymundo Frasquillo

SAN MANUEL – The San Manuel Miners host the Duncan Wildkats for a 1A South Region contest on Friday, Sept. 1. Kickoff is 7 p.m.

The game is the fourth pairing of the two teams in the 8-man format, with the Miners having a 3-0 advantage and a 41-13 (124-40) average score per game or a 28-point margin. San Manuel has prevailed 40-18 (2022), 38-8 (2021), and 46-14 (2020) over Duncan during the previous contests.

This season, San Manuel has losses of 0-38 to Heber Mogollon (Aug. 18) and 34-38 to Scottsdale Cicero Prep (Aug. 25) while Duncan fell 36-64 to New Mexico Lordsburg (Aug. 18) and blanked Fort Thomas 12-0 (Aug. 24).

San Manuel Miners (0-2 overall, 0-0 region)

San Manuel hosts Glendale Desert Heights Prep (Sept. 8) and Elfrida Valley Union (Sept. 15), visits Fort Thomas (Sept. 22), hosts Ray (Oct. 6), and visits Sells Baboquivari (Oct. 13).

Duncan Wildkats (1-1, 1-0)

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

Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: Duncan sophomores Ky Coats (67) and Kasen Ludvigson (71) team up to sack Fort Thomas quarterback Allen Gilbert (10).

1A South Region

The only other region contest this week has Baboquivari (1-1 overall) at Valley Union (0-1) while Fort Thomas (0-2) visits Superior (1-1), Saint David (2-0) visits Bagdad (0-1), and Ray (1-1) visits Joseph City (0-1) on Sept. 1.

Region standings after two weeks of play are Saint David (2-0 overall, 2-0 region) first, Duncan (1-1, 1-0) second, Baboquivari (1-1, 1-1) third, Ray (1-1, 1-1) fourth, San Manuel (0-2, 0-0) fifth, Valley Union (0-1, 0-1) sixth, and Forth Thomas (0-2, 0-2) seventh.

Saint David (2-0) has region wins of 50-0 over Ray (Aug. 18) and 47-18 over Baboquivari (Aug. 25), Duncan a 12-0 win over Fort Thomas (Aug. 24), Baboquivari a 44-0 win over Fort Thomas (Aug. 18), and Ray a 34-30 win over Valley Union (Aug. 25).

Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: First-year Duncan head coach Dan Coats uses his hands and voice to convey what he wants the Wildkats to run.

Duncan – 12, Fort Thomas – 0

Senior Sean Webb accounted for both Duncan touchdowns, the first on a 1-yard run on 2nd-and-goal with 3:30 left in the second quarter and the second on an 80-yard kickoff return with 17 seconds elapsed in the second half. A 51-yard drive in 10 plays during Duncan’s third possession resulted in the first-half score.

The Wildkats had three other first-half possessions and two in the second half, advancing the ball a total of 156 of 381 needed yards or 30 percent by rushing, passing, and penalties. Fort Thomas had a percentage of 29 (94-329).

Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: Fort Thomas junior quarterback Allen Gilbert is slowed by Duncan sophomore Isaiah Sumner.

Duncan turned over its’ initial possession on downs, being sacked for a 13-yard loss on 4th-and-13 after gaining 34 yards on 12 plays; punted on 4th-and-10 after no gain in three plays; and turned the ball over on downs after losing 20 yards on four plays.

Fort Thomas turned the ball over on downs with a 4th-and-5 incomplete pass after gaining 18 yards on five previous plays, punted on 4th-and-27 after losing five yards on seven previous plays, turned the ball over on downs after losing six yards on four plays plus a penalty, punted on 4th-and-1 after gaining nine yards on three plays, and ran out of time.

In the second half, the Wildkats gained 10 of 12 needed yards on a 4th-and-12 faked punt attempt after eight yards in five previous plays and ran out of time after gaining 83 yards in 21 plays.

The Apaches countered by turning the ball over on downs with an incomplete pass on 4th-and-goal from the 13 after gaining 51 yards in 11 previous plays and were intercepted on 2nd-and-10 after gaining 12 yards in two previous plays.

Officially, Duncan gained 238 yards, 218 on 45 carries, and 20 on two receptions with 55 snaps.

Sophomore Isaiah Sumner averaged 11.5 (2-23) yards per carry, Webb 6.5 (14-91) yards, freshman Joseph Nandino 4.2 (20-84) yards, and senior Adriano Burrola 2.2 (9-20) yards. Burrola completed a pass for 15 yards with no interceptions and Webb was 1-5 with no interceptions. Sumner caught two passes for 20 yards.

Duncan suited out 13 while the Apaches had nearly double that amount in uniform, and still evened the series at 11 wins apiece.