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Demons take down Kingfisher

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Perkins takes advantage of turnovers, run game to thwart Jackets, 34-13

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    PERKINS JUNIOR Conner Williams (50) lays a hit on Kingfisher quarterback Cade Stephenson during Thursday night’s 34-13 win by the Demons. [Photo by Russell Stitt/www.stitt.smugmug.com
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    Perkins Demons vs. Kingfisher Yellowjackets

To beat Perkins-Tryon, according to head coach Jeff Myers, the Kingfisher Yellowjackets were going to have to put together their best performance of the season to date.

“We’ll have to play solid for four quarters and have a clean game,” Myers said.

It didn’t play out that way Thursday night as the Jackets turned it over three times, gave up nearly 300 rushing yards and suffered a 34-13 home defeat at the hands of the Demons.

“Pretty much everything I said we needed to do, we didn’t do,” Myers said afterward.

“They’re a good team and they don’t need any help and we gave them plenty.”

Kingfisher tied the game at 7-7 with 8:31 to play in the second quarter, but faced a 28-7 deficit by halftime.

That came after the Jackets twice turned it over deep in their own territory and Perkins converted both miscues into scores.

KHS got no closer than 15 points in the second half in seeing its three-game win streak snapped.

The Jackets dropped to 4-3 overall and 3-1 in District 3A-1.

Perkins, which took No. 1 Heritage Hall to the wire last week before falling 28-21 on a late pick-six, upped its overall record to 6-1 while moving to 3-1 in the district.

The Jackets most likely will have to beat Heritage Hall and John Marshall in the season’s final three weeks to have a shot at hosting a playoff game.

“We can’t look that far ahead right now,” Myers said. “We have to work on us first and Heritage Hall next.”

The Demons entered Thursday averaging just over 200 rushing yards a game, but far exceeded that with the one-two punch of quarterback Austin Mages and tailback Ayron Lawson.

Those two combined for every one of Perkins’ 45 running attempts.

Mages handed it off to Lawson 22 times and he turned that into 178 yards.

The junior kept it another 23 times for 125 yards and three touchdowns.

He capped an 80-yard drive that covered 5:04 in the first quarter to give Perkins a 7-0 lead with 20 seconds left in the first quarter.

The Jackets came right back and used a 26-yard pass to Jarret Birdwell and a pass interference penalty to get within scoring distance.

Cade Stephenson made it pay off with a 4-yard touchdown run to tie the game in the second quarter.

Undeterred, the Demons marched right back. Lawson’s 42-yard run was the big play in a 73-yard scoring drive.

Mages put his team up with a 4-yard scoring run at the 4:56 mark of the second quarter.

That proved to be the beginning of the end for the Jackets.

Clayton Abercrombie fumbled the ensuing kickoff return and Perkins recovered at the KHS 17.

A few plays later, a wide open Colby Anderson hauled in a 22-yard touchdown pass from Mages for a 21-7 Demons lead.

The bad news was just beginning as Stephenson was stripped while scrambling on Kingfisher’s next possession. His fumble was recovered by Perkins at the Jacket 29 with 1:39 to play in the half.

One minute later, on fourth down, Gannon Mc-Cutchen got behind the KHS defense, caught a Mag-es pass and raced 25 yards into the end zone.

A tie game was suddenly 28-7 in favor of the visitors.

“It snowballed on us and we didn’t do enough to stop it,” Myers said. “We didn’t find a way to take back that momentum.”

KHS drove down to the Perkins 12 in the waning seconds of the first half, but couldn’t turn it into points.

No points could be found in the third quarter either, even after Keaton Abercrombie thwarted a Perkins drive with an interception.

Not until the first play of the fourth quarter did KHS get more offensive spark.

Stephenson hit Keaton Abercrombie on the near sideline and the senior helped turn it into a 50-yard touchdown, pulling KHS within 28-13.

The momentum stayed with the Jackets as they eventually forced a turnover on downs.

Kingfisher drove down to the Perkins 26 with 6:01 to play, but couldn’t move it any further.

The Demons sealed their win with a 74-yard scoring drive that chewed 2:30 off the clock.

Mages made it a three-touchdown lead again with his 17-yard scamper with 2:36 to play.

“We played well enough defensively in the second half to slow them down,” Myerssaid.“Wejustcouldn’t close the gap.

“We made too many mistakes, especially in the first half, to win. You can’t have the miscues we had against a team as good as Perkins.”

The Kingfisher defense got nine tackles from Hayden Stafford.

Clayton Abercrombie added eight and Keaton Abercrombie had six, as did Riley Myers.

Stephenson was 10 of 17 for 141 yards.

Keaton Abercrombie caught three of those passes for 59 yards. Clayton Abercrombie’s two catches covered 23 yards.

Stephenson added another 47 yards on 14 carries. Caleb Dick’s 16 touches netted 61 yards.

Perkins found the yardage much easier to chew up. The Demons averaged 6.5 yards a carry.

And it doesn’t get any easier with this week’s trip to Heritage Hall.

“We can’t feel sorry for ourselves,” Myers said. “We don’t have time for that. We’ve got to find a way to improve this week and go out next week and prove ourselves.”