The Altus High Bulldogs were their own worst enemy in their 52-14 loss to the Del City Eagles on Friday night.
Altus committed six turnovers, four of which led to touchdowns.
It didn’t start out well for the Bulldogs. On the fourth play of the game a fumble fell into into the hands of Del City linebacker Brandon McFadden who returned it 37 yards for a touchdown. Anthony Mason ran for the conversion points and the Eagles had a 8-0 lead with 10:15 left in the first period.
It marked the fourth straight game that the Bulldogs had a turnover in the opening two minutes of a contest.
“There are several firsts in this season,” AHS Head Coach Chad Stone. “I think we’re just unlucky right from the coin toss. We wanted to defer, play defense and get settled in.”
Altus lost the coin toss, Del City deferred and Altus then elected to receive the opening kickoff.
After its firs score Del City scored the next two times they had the ball on a 11 run by quarterback Colin Watford and a 1 yard scamper by Khalil Warren.
That put the Bulldogs in a hole 21-0 but they did respond well.
Altus had a 72 yard six play drive for a score. Sophomore quarterback Jayden Benway came in relief of starter Tanner Cross. Benway capped the drive with a 36 yard run on the option play for a score. Benway went outside and found plenty running room. He was tackled near the goal line but fell over into the end zone near the pylon. Gabe Barton added the extra point and Altus trailed 20-7 with 8:06 left in the first half.
But disaster struck twice for the Bulldogs. Del City’s Davion Freeman ran a punt 73 yards for a score and Deonte Reid followed that up with 37 yard interception return for a score.
Statistics can lie and they certainly did at halftime. Altus dominated ball possession running 35 offensive plays to Del City’s 20. Altus had advantage in first downs 8 to 6. But the three turnovers by the Bulldogs turned into 21 points for the hosts.
When the first half ended Altus trailed 34-7.
More frustration for the Bulldogs came in the second half. A high onside kick was muffed by Del City and Wavin Yada recovered for Altus. However, the Bulldogs could not take advantage of the opportunity. There were two mis-exchanges on the snap, a false start penalty and the three plays they had netted a minus three yards.
Del City scored three more times after that and at one time held a 52-7.
Altus came up with another score when Cross scrambled 16 yards on the option play with 1:22 remaining in the game.
Bulldog notes: Del City scored four defensive touchdowns and once on a punt return. Altus had 64 snaps to Del City’s 43. Altus had problems with the quarterback-center exchange repeatedly. Stone talked about that, the turnovers and the game in general.
“They (the players) came out for warm up and they had the deer in the headlights look,” Stone said. “I don’t know if they looked at Del City and were a little bit intimidated. I gathered them together in the end zone and told them to come out with passion and fire and all that stuff. I thought that would take of it but it didn’t.”
Stone also talked about pulling Cross out of the game in favor of Benway.
“Tanner was trying to do to much,” Stone said. “He did have a nice run at the end. Jayden has some reps during week and we just thought we would put him in there. The little kid has ice in his veins.”
Altus is 1-5 on the year and 1-2 in district play. The Bulldogs will host Oklahoma City Southeast on Thursday. Kickoff will be at 7:30 p.m.
Game In Figures
Yds rushing56-23334- 127
How They Scored
DC - Brandion McMadden 37 yard fumble return (Anthony Mason run) 10:15, 1st quarter, DC 8-0
DC - Colin Watford 11 run, (kick failed0 1:33, 1st qtr., DC, 14-0
DC -Khalil Warren 1 run (run failed) 10:47, 2nd qtr., DC, 20-0
AHS - Jayden Benway 36 run (Gabe Barton kick), 8:06, 2nd qtr.
DC - Davion Freeman 73 punt return (Jordan Cook kick), 2:37, 2nd qtr., DC, 27-7
DC- Deonte Reid 33 interception return (Cook kick), 2:16, 3rd qtr., DC, 34-7
DC - McFadden 64 fumble return (kick failed}, 6:50, 3rd qtr., DC, 40-7
DC - Michael Johnson 65 pass from Watford (kick failed), 9:39., 4th qtr. DC 46-7
DC - Orlando Sheets 48 fumble return (kick failed), 4:49, 4th qtr., DC, 52-7
AHS - Tanner Cross 16 run (Barton kick0, 1:22, 4th qtr.,
Croaa 10-25 1TD; Lewis 5-24; Birdow 123; McGill 9-74;Benway 1-36 1TD; there were 12 yards in team losses due to mixechanges on snaps
Cross 0-4; 1-2-4 1Int; Lewis 0-1
Barton 2-2 PATS
Watford 7-22 1TD;Mason 9-36; Warren 6-3 1TD; McGlaughlin 2 (-6); Bryer 2-10
Watford 3-9- 82 1TD
Cook 2-6 pATs
Mason, Sheets, McFadden 2