The Durant Lions came up on the short end of their season opener against the Poteau Pirates Friday night, losing 28-21.
“We are going to be fine, we’ve just got to keep working and look at that big picture,” said Durant’s head coach Byron Cordell, “We did a lot of good things tonight and made a lot of mistakes. But we are going to fix that and get ready for the Ardmore Tigers next Friday.”
The Lions offense lit up the sky as its passing game was humming. Zac Cater, went 10-of-18 with 167 yards on the night, threw three touchdown passes in the first half as Durant took a 21-14 halftime lead. However, the Pirates power running game and run stopping defense, set the tempo in the second half for a come back win.
Poteau drew first blood in the first quarter, scoring on its first drive. The Pirates’ offense stalled as they faced a third and six from their own 40 yard line. Poteau then ran a play action pass which left a wide receiver open down field for a touchdown.
The Lions would answer back, and quickly.
Cater and running back Dakota Diessner, who finished with 39 rushing yards on 11 carries, drove their team to the Pirates’ 14 yard line. Then Cater rolled out to his right and found Brandon Maynard near the goal line for a touchdown to tie the game 7-7 with 6:28 left in the quarter.
Durant’s defense came up big in the first half to force three turnovers.
On Poteau’s next possession, the Pirates were driving when Durant’s Hunter Wines slipped through the line for a quarterback sack. Then the Pirates would fumble and Hunter Stephens recovered for Durant. But, the Lions drive stalled out.
Durant’s defense would force Poteau’s to a three-and-out on the next possession and gave the ball back to the Lions at mid-field.
The Lions would drive down the field and into the red-zone. Then Cater would connect with Blake Wilson, who would fight his way into the end zone to give the Lions a 14-7 lead.
The Lions’ defense would come up big again to force another fumble and Durant would recover at their own 40 yard line and in one play, the Lions would score.
Cater would drop back in the pocket and find Stephens jetting down field uncovered for an easy pitch-and-catch touchdown that put them up 21-7.
However, the Pirates would fight through another fumble and got their running going. With only 34 seconds left in the half, the Pirates cut into Durant’s lead with a rushing touchdown. Durant led 21-14 at the half.
In the second half, things didn’t start off well for Durant, nor did it end well.
The Lions would turn the ball over at the start of the third quarter that put the Pirates at Durant’s 34 yard line. It took just a blink of an eye for Potaeu to score and tie the game at 21-21.
Then Durant’s Chris Brown was injured late in the third quarter and carried off the field. “Chris was conscious, it’s was a precautionary measure. He had a little tingling in his arm. He couldn’t remember the score, but he knew he was at a football game,” Said Cordell, “We are hoping and praying that everything will be okay.”
The Pirates ran the ball 50 times and totaled 297 yards on the ground. Durant’s running game struggled, totaling 61 yards on 23 carries.
Durant couldn’t get back the magic they had in the first half and had its running game shut down, as the Pirates used their running game to control the ball for the rest of the game and the win.
Durant’s next game will be against Ardmore on Homecoming night this Friday at Paul Laird Field.