In a game that's frequently decided by few points, any little advantage in the Duncan-Ardmore rivalry is a difference maker.
Duncan's may lie on the front line, where the Demons (3-2, 2-0 District 5A-1) return several linemen from their playoff team of last season.
"They're big and strong and senior dominated up front in offensive and defensive line," Ardmore coach Douglas Wendel said. "We've got some strengths of our own. We hope to use our speed [...] the option game is supposed to eliminate some of that size advantage instead of having to move big bodies."
The Tigers' own big bodies have traditionally done a good job of competing with Duncan over the past two seasons. In their last meeting at Noble Stadium, the Tigers dominated at home against Division I line prospects for a 21-7 win in 2010. In 2011, the front five paved the way for 260 rushing yards and a sizeable offensive advantage (425 yards to 257 for Duncan).
Ardmore junior nose tackle/fullback Darius Lawson said the Tigers' front matches up well this season, too.
"On offense they've got a good center," Lawson said. "He's very well-coached. The guards are big and tough, the tackles are big and tall, and they've got a pretty good line coming back on both sides of the ball.
"They've got us on height and size, but if we use our quickness well, it should be a pretty good matchup."
Duncan's only two losses this season have come to Class 5A powers Guthrie and Carl Albert, while wins have come against Weatherford in week 2, and Capitol Hill and Altus in the last two games.
Wendel said there is added personal motivation stemming from last year's contest against Duncan, in which the Tigers dominated the majority of the game only to be beaten 23-20.
"For me, personally, sure," Wendel said. "That was a hard one to swallow for our team. But we're a totally different team this year, so we're not really playing that up."
Erik K. Horne
Duncan at Ardmore
— 7:30 p.m. tonight at Noble Stadium
— Records: Duncan 3-2, 2-0 District 5A-1; Ardmore 2-3, 1-1
— AP rankings: None
— In 2011: Duncan won 23-20
— Radio: KICM-FM 97.7