Senior Sercy Duncan caught the ball and stormed into the endzone on Friday night to open the Atchison Redmen’s Homecoming bout with the Piper Pirates, but this may have been a high water mark.
Piper answered moments later, revealing a run game that Atchison would be unable to contain throughout the contest at Amelia Earhart Field. They evened the score and converted for two points, while the Redmen didn’t find success in points after touchdowns. They made the score 12-8 after sophomore Xavier Cushinberry, carrying about four Pirates on his back, set up another Duncan reception and run into the paint.
“We felt that we could run right through them and had some success with that,” said head coach Jim Smith.
Atchison slowed down offensively and then suffered a setback before the half when a QB sneak by Piper senior Dalton White resulted in a 31 yard touchdown run, making the score 23-12. Following another touchdown, Atchison sought to make it a two-possession game with just over a minute in the half, but Redmen senior Malachi Vick got tackled in the backfield for a turnover on downs.
The Pirates kept possession after halftime and took control from there, keeping the Redmen contained throughout the third quarter, running up the score to 12-43 and then 12-49 after marching down the field repeatedly, including a 75 yard touchdown run by White.
“I was proud of our kids tonight,” Smith said. “I felt our guys showed no quit. We were in it the whole game.”
Atchison showed some life midway through the fourth quarter, bringing the score to 28-49 as Duncan breathed life into the AHS offense. However, Piper freshman Karson Schaunaman scored again as the game entered its final minutes, and Piper added two points to make it 28-56.
“Sercy always plays so hard,” Smith said. “He sees openings, he takes the opportunities he gets. He’s a great player.”
Atchison ultimately had no room to recover in the final five minutes and took a second consecutive home loss, leaving the record at 1-2.
“We got a lot of young kids out there who played their hearts out for Homecoming tonight,” Smith said. “Piper has a running back who is headed for K-State, that kind of talent, and I think we contained it pretty well. The line did a great job tonight.”
The Redmen will hit next hit the road to take on the Harmon Hawks on Sept. 21.
“I’m going to be watching some video to see how (Harmon) is doing right now,” Smith said. “I know Coach (Steven) Jackson does a really good job with his kids. If we get some opportunities and play like we did today, we’ll be fine.”