Written by SportsDayDFW.com
Duncanville, Flower Mound Marcus overcoming previous years' struggles
DUNCANVILLE — Duncanville and Flower Mound Marcus wasted no time putting disappointing seasons behind them.
Both schools turned heads during Zero Week wins. Duncanville routed then-No. 18 Colleyville Heritage, 70-42, and Marcus shut down then-No. 10 Plano West, 24-8.
Duncanville, which went 3-7 last year, opened each of the previous three seasons with losses to Heritage. Marcus won only four games last season, its fewest since 2004.
“You hope that it’s something to continue building on,” Duncanville coach Jeff Dicus said. “This group of kids is hungry to prove that we do have a good football program.”
Duncanville’s practices are lively, fast and fun — a marked contrast from a season ago.
The 2012 team suffered from a leadership vacuum, Dicus said, and many players were disinterested. The result was Duncanville’s worst season since 2007, the last time Duncanville missed the playoffs.
“We didn’t have good character at all last year,” senior quarterback Jeremiah Drake said. “There was selfishness. People were playing for themselves and to get noticed.”
Now players line up for pre-practice calisthenics and look genuinely excited to be there. Screams of “2-0!” sail in from every direction.
If Duncanville beats Abilene on Friday, it will be the program’s first 2-0 start since 2003.
The players have also taken to a new up-tempo, no-huddle offense. Duncanville got off 81 plays against Heritage last weekend, gaining 644 yards and 32 first downs.
Drake threw for 435 of those yards to go along with his five touchdowns.
Marcus experienced a completely different sort of problem last season.
Seven starters suffered season-ending injuries, including starting quarterback Cole Erwin, backup quarterback Cade Erwin, defensive linemen Creighton Barr and Brian Ciszewski, offensive lineman Dallas Nicholas and cornerback Tanner Rutz.
Those six players are all returning this season, putting the pieces in place for a rapid turnaround. Coach Bryan Erwin believes the team is even better for it.
“Everyone on the team, whether hurt or not, they all got to witness or experience that adversity,” Bryan Erwin said. “Everyone feels the same pain and experienced having to overcome that. I could tell in January that this was a mature team.”
Marcus recovered two fumbles on defense and forced Plano West to punt seven times.
Cole Erwin, in his first game back at quarterback, threw for 188 yards and three touchdowns.
“All those guys that are coming off postseason surgeries look comfortable and confident,” Bryan Erwin said. “Every one of them is faster and stronger than they’ve ever been.”
Several other area teams enjoyed major Zero Week turnarounds.
Carrollton Ranchview defeated Glen Rose, 20-14, after suffering a 62-7 defeat last season. Irving, which opened last season with a 46-42 loss to W.T. White, turned around and earned a 43-0 shutout Friday. And Richardson, which gave up 55 points in a loss to Irving MacArthur last year, eked out a 21-20 win.