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Thomas rolls Apache

Turnovers prove costly for Warriors

THOMAS  From an early point, it became clear it was not to be Apache's night.

A nightmarish start was impossible to overcome for the Warriors, who turned the ball over three times in the first six minutes of play, and six times on the night, in what was supposed to be a closely contested second-round playoff game.

Instead, the Thomas Terriers were the beneficiates of the Warriors' miscues, converting the turnovers into points early and staying ahead in a 34-7 win over Apache at Ross Field on Friday.

The game could not have gotten off to a worse start for the Warriors. After marching to the Thomas 30-yard-line on the opening drive, the Warriors coughed up the ball. Two plays later, Thomas receiver Brandon Eckert took a jet sweep handoff and found enough running room to go 70 yards for the score.

On the first play of the next Apache drive, receiver Jalen Maguire hauled in a short pass from quarterback Landon McCracken, but the ball popped loose as he was heading to the ground. Thomas pounced on the fumble and took over in Warrior territory. Three plays later, Terrier quarterback Marshall Gose ran behind some key blocks for a 43-yard touchdown run. The point after failed, but the momentum was squarely with the home team.

It didn't get any better for Apache. On 4th-and-3 at their own 40, a bad snap went through punter Austin Vail's hands and was jumped on by the eager Terriers. 

Again, the Thomas offense, behind a large, disciplined offensive line, marched down the field for the score. Less than eight minutes had passed, and Apache was already down 20-0.

There was a brief glimmer of hope on the kickoff, however, as Maguire went practically untouched through the Terrier team on an 80-yard return for a touchdown to cut the lead to 20-7. But that would be as close as Apache got.

Although disappointed in the result, Apache coach Larry McDaniel said his team was executing its game plan to perfection before it caught the turnover bug.

"That's what we were trying to do, we wanted to play fast and make them keep up with us," McDaniel said. "But when you turn the ball over whatever it wassix, seven timesyou're not going to beat anyone doing that."

The Lawton Constitution

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