Homecoming ended bittersweet for the Ducks Friday night at The Pond. In a game that could’ve went either way, the Ducks found themselves on the losing end falling 24-21 to the Salado Eagles.
The Eagles drew first blood scoring on 73-yard touchdown run on their first touch of the game with 6:04 remaining in the first quarter. Before the quarter would expire however the Ducks would even the score at 7-7 when Ryan Barcuch got the ball on a reverse and broke free for a 32- yard touchdown run.
In the second quarter Salado controlled the ground game and marched down the field to score again, this time from 8 yards out with 9:47 remaining taking a 14-7 lead. Later in the quarter the Ducks defense stood up Salado on a fourth down attempt which led to Taylor QB Michael Schneider scoring on a 19-yard scamper to even things once again with just under a minute remaining in the half.
The third quarter was quiet yet competitive as the teams went back and forth. The Ducks once again came away with a big fourth down stop. In the opening minute of the fourth Salado retook the lead on a 3-yard touchdown run with 11:24 remaining. After a quiet defense from both schools the Ducks found the endzone in a big way when Schneider hit Barcuch for a 35-yard touchdown pass. Bringing the fans in the stands to life and tie the game once again at 21.
The final four minutes of the game were the most intense as the teams battled back and forth. There were moments when Salado would be set back, but costly penalties hurt the Ducks. With 33 seconds remaining in the game Salado hit a 34-yard field goal to take the lead and the game. The Ducks would get the ball back but fumbled on the drive ending the game.
The Ducks put up their best offensive performance of the season in the game amassing over 320 yards of total offense. Schneider was 4-8 passing with 75 yards and a touchdown. Both Schneider and RB Jason Martinez eclipsed the 100-yard mark in the game. Schneider carried the ball 19 times for 102 yards and a touchdown while Martinez carried 23 times for 104 yards. The Ducks leading receiver was Ryan Barcuch with 3 catches for 61 yards and a touchdown.
The Ducks will be at home again this Friday to take on La Grange (3-1) who suffered their first loss of the season last week to Geronimo Navarro 55-22.