The Dodge City Red Demons football team opened up with a loss Friday night, losing to the Haysville-Campus Colts by a score of 47-9.
The game started about as disastrously as it could have for the Red Demons. The Demons won the coin toss, but deferred.
On the kickoff, Colts senior Sam Wise returned the kickoff 96 yards for a touchdown. On the extra point, the Colts threw a fade to the back attacking-left corner of the end zone to give the Colts an 8-0 lead.
The Red Demons took the ensuing kickoff, but on the first offensive play from scrimmage, junior quarterback Beau Foster ran the ball but fumbled, and the Colts recovered.
On the drive that came from Foster’s fumble, a Colts receiver fumbled the ball within the Red Demons 10 yard line, but a Colt recovered the ball on the ground. On the next play, the Colts connected a fade-pass to the same corner they had gotten the 2-point conversion, giving the Colts a 14-0 lead with 10:51 left in the first quarter.
"Worst imaginable start," Red Demons head coach Dave Foster said. "What I told the kids is 'We've gotta pay attention to details. If you don't think leveraged coverage in a kickoff is important, you find out what happened in a hurry.' The entire left side of our kickoff coverage unit appeared to not squeeze at all. The ball went to the opposite hash and we continued down the field."
It was almost like the team was blind to where the return took place, Foster said.
"I think everybody up here is watching from the stands is pry like 'holy cow, this thing might go,'" Foster said. "I mean that was the absolute worst way to start it and then we turn around and Beau fumbles on the ensuing play. Kid puts his helmet on it, Beau should have had two (hands) on it taking care of it. So then all of the sudden they throw the ball immediately and they've got a matchup and they're up 14-zip."
It wasn’t all bad for the Red Demons in the first half though. Their offense showed signs of being able to move, but even though their offense couldn’t put any points on the board in the second quarter, the defense held the Colts without a point in the second quarter. The Colts only led 14-3 at halftime.
Senior lineman Evan Darville, senior defensive lineman Sam Meade and sophomore Alden Knedler all had key plays on defense in the first half.
The Red Demons received the kick in the second half, but their offense stalled.
Their defense again came up big after the Colts returned it to just inside the Red Demons’ side of the 50 yard line, culminating with a good tackle on a screen by Red Demon junior defensive back and running back Cedric Rosales.
Rosales made the first tackle on the next drive for the Colts after the Red Demons’ second one of the second half stalled like the first.
Still, eventually the defense wasn’t able to hold against the strong Colts offense. That same drive, the Colts converted on third down as Colts senior tight end Mateo Martinez takes it around the edge and gets into the endzone to give the Colts a 21-3 lead with 6:12 left in the third quarter.
The Red Demons went three-and-out on the next drive, and from there it was smooth sailing for the Colts.
"We'll roll up our sleeves and go to work," Foster said.
The Red Demons head to Salina Stadium to take on Salina South at 7 p.m. Sept. 7.