DUMAS, Texas- In the northern reaches of the Texas Panhandle sits the town of Dumas, located about halfway in between Amarillo and the Texas-Oklahoma state line. It’s a town that will be buzzing on Friday night for their hometown Demons as they host Amarillo High for the District 3-5A title in what head coach Chad Dunnam calls “the biggest home game in Dumas since we’ve been here.”
“We’ve played six games on the road this season and we’re looking forward to playing this game at Demon Stadium,” Dunnam said. “We’ll have tremendous support from the student section, our community and we’ll pack the stands. It’ll be an electric environment and show what high school football is all about.”
A win against the Sandies on Friday would be the first district title for Dumas in 20 years. Heading into this big game, his message to the team is simple.
“You worry about the stage being too big, especially when you’re in a situation that you haven’t been in a long time,” Dunnam said. “I tell our kids that we built the stage. We’ve played our way to this point and we set this championship up. It’s an undisputed heavyweight fight and we have to come out like a contender.”
That contender status didn’t happen overnight. After winning their season opener against Perryton, the Demons suffered their lone loss to Lubbock Estacado in blowout fashion. It was a disappointing setback for his team, but one that Dunnam says “was the best thing to happen to us all season.”
“We felt like that it was a game that we didn’t play well and respect our opponent and they whipped us handidly,” he said of the 48-17 loss to Estacado in Week 2. “It was the crossroads of our season, we could either pout about it or go to work. I feel like that game turned our season and it helped us move forward.”
Since, the Demons have rolled off six wins in a row to set up Friday’s title game. Dunnam credits the leadership of his senior quarterback, Noah Quintanilla, who has put up an impressive 2,081 total yards and 26 total touchdowns this season.
“He’s the core of our football team. As Noah goes, we go,” Dunnam said of his signal caller. “He went through some growing pains last year as a first-year starter but we felt really good about him. He’s great with his feet and an improved passer. He’s a tremendous leader and I can’t say enough about what he provides for us at the quarterback position.”
Quintanilla will be just one key for the Demons facing a tough Amarillo High team that has also won six in a row entering Friday’s game. Dunnam says that going up against the Wing-T offense of the Sandies is not easy and knows that he’ll need everybody on the same page.
“We have to play assignment football, win one-on-one battles up front and you have to have good eye discipline,” Dunnam said of Amarillo’s offense. “You can’t get caught up in misdirection. They ground and pound you and work you until you try to do someone else’s job and then you give up a big play. It’s going to take a tremendous effort from everyone on our team but we feel like we’re playing some of our best football right now.”
Dunnam knows that his team will be playing at least one more game after this week, but he also wants to lead the Demons to their first playoff win in over 20 years as well. He knows it will be a challenge, but says he feels that his team has grown and is ready to take on the challenge.
“It’s been a longhaul. Our expectations when we first got here was that to try and win a game or two to get into the playoffs and the goal is to win championships. We’d like to play beyond Thanksgiving and into December.”
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