Gainesville comes to Noble Stadium

Let's see how Ardmore fares against the Lone Star State.

Coming off their first win of the season against Durant, the Tigers (1-1) will host Gainesville (Texas) tonight in a border battle of sorts.

Gainesville is 2-0 entering tonight's game, with blowout wins in each game. The Leopards play in Class 3A in Texas, which is roughly the same enrollment as Ardmore, according to athletic director/head football coach Douglas Wendel.

Wendel said the matchup with Gainesville will be a home-and-home series, with the Tigers traveling to Texas in 2013. But he's more concerned about the now, and stopping a team that's scored 85 points in its first two games.

"We're excited about the challenge of playing Gainesville," Wendel said. "They have the tradition of winning a couple state championships and have had several really good football players come through their program in the last 20 years."

In addition to Ardmore's offense showing spark against Durant, with Jeff Surrell rushing for three touchdowns and showing better ball security, Wendel is glad the Tigers' defense is looking sharp. He said his "D" made "tremendous strides" last week in the 27-12 win, forcing two turnovers (C.J. Long and Kaine McCullough interceptions) and holding Durant to just eight first downs.

Wendel called this week the best week of practice the Tigers have had this season, a positive considering the variations of offense they'll face tonight. Gainesville can run multiple formations, but will line up primarily in the Wing-T, which offers a different look than the Tigers are used to.

"You don't see that very often," Wendel said of Gainesville's offense. "When you play something you're not used to seeing, you really get excited about 'can we stop it.'

"And then they've got more speed than anybody we've played. We're looking forward to seeing how we match up; I think we've got a good plan defensively."

Erik K. Horne