The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Sports

September 15, 2013

Duncan makes the most of his opportunity

BISMARCK — Like hitting a walk-off home run or making a game-winning three-pointer at the buzzer, kickers look forward to the opportunity to come up big in clutch situations.

It’s what they do. They will sometimes sit on the sideline an entire game waiting for the opportunity to kick a field goal at a crucial moment in the game to help their team win.

Bismarck-Henning sophomore Dalton Duncan had looked forward to that opportunity, but with the frequency the Blue Devils’ offense has put up points this season, the only question was how intense the situation might be when he got the opportunity.

He found out last Friday night against the Milford/Cissna Park Bearcats when he was called upon by coach Mark Dodd to win the game for his team.

Down 15-14 with 17 seconds left in the game, Duncan went onto the field and kicked a 30-yard field goal to secure a 17-15 win, keep the Blue Devils’ record perfect, and record the program’s 16th consecutive regular-season win.

“I never hesitated,” Dodd said. “He’s been doing it all summer for us, and I see him do it everyday.

“He takes it seriously, and he really works hard at it. He’s still learning, but he came in to us having gone to a kicking camp. He really learned how to do it, and he has the soccer experience behind him. It’s pretty natural for him.”

As a member of the Blue Devils soccer team, Duncan had wanted to play football since he was in eighth grade. During his freshman year, he was in Dodd’s weight training class, and the two discussed the entire winter about the possibility of playing two sports. Duncan attended a kicking camp over the summer in Naperville, and upon returning, he impressed Dodd with the progress he had made.

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