Lapses on defense in the first six minutes and the last six minutes spelled defeat for Purcell in their first road trip of the season.
Pauls Valley scored 28 of their 35 points in those two six minute lapses and knocked off the Dragons 35-14.
“In between those six minutes to start the game and the six to end it, we played pretty well,” confirmed Dragons Head Coach Aaron Dillard.
Boston Knowles got the Dragons’ scoring started on a brilliant 85-yard kick off return. Devan Martin added the PAT and Purcell had cut the Panthers’ lead in half at the end of the first period.
Neither team tallied in the second period but both added a touchdown in the third.
Noah Mason hauled in a 62-yard pass off the arm of Kash Guthmueller with Noah Gracey toeing the extra point.
Dillard liked what he saw from his defensive linemen.
Landry Bacon finished with eight tackles and Tavian Engert had seven stops.
“Tavian Engert had a great game and Landry played really well in the D line. We also got some good production from Brody Holder,” the coach said.
Holder finished with a pair of tackles.
The ring-leader of the defense last Friday night was junior linebacker Christian Kirk. He made 12 tackles and had two tackles for losses.
“He had an outstanding game,” Dillard said. “He really played well. Kash Guthmueller did some good things stopping the run.”
Guthmueller broke up a pass and defended three others, the coach reported.
“They are good but we beat ourselves as well,” Dillard said. “It was a combination of things. First, they are a really good team but we didn’t get lined up correctly on their first two plays.”
To go along with his 85-yard kickoff return, Knowles rushed the ball 20 times for 95 yards.
“We ran the ball better than we did against Alva,” Dillard said. “We moved some guys around in the line. Brody Holder graded out at 81 percent after changing positions in the line.
“Carter Goldston did a good job at center grading out at 70 percent.”
Sophomore Carter Bennett showed some promise at running back.
“We had some young guys go in that really played well,” Dillard continued. “He carried the ball on a second and long and gained 14 yards. We are very encouraged with what we saw out of him.”
Up next is the Battle for the Bridge with the Lexington Bulldogs coming across the river for a 7 p.m. start.
Dillard reports Lexington, coming off a 21-0 victory over Wayne last week, will operate out of a spread formation on offense.
“They lined up in an odd defensive front against Bridge Creek but used an even front against Wayne so they go back and forth,” Dillard said.
“The key for us is to do our job defensively. At times last week we didn’t do that and big played. We’ve got to be physical offensively and continue to get better. The kids are getting more comfortable in the offense.”
He also mentioned ball security. The Dragons coughed up three fumbles against Pauls Valley which he said ultimately led to their demise.
Purcell Head Coach Aaron Dillard nominated Boston Knowles as the Offensive Player of the Week. Knowles returned a kickoff 85 yards to pay dirt and rushed for 95 yards on 20 carries.
Dillard nominated Brody Holder as the Offensive Lineman of the Week. He graded out at 81 percent.
Christian Kirk got the nod as the Defensive Player of the Week for his 12 tackle performance. He had two tackles for losses.
The Defensive Lineman of the Week nomination went to Tavian Engert. Engert finished the Pauls Valley game with seven tackles.
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