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The Daily Ardmoreite
  • Prep Football: Blue Devils can strike back in Davis-Ringling rivalry

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      Thoughts about the Davis-Ringling matchup? Who's going to win? Who are the players to watch? Score predictions? Let us know @ekhorneARD or #DavisvsRingling on Twitter.
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      Talk it up on Twitter
      Thoughts about the Davis-Ringling matchup? Who's going to win? Who are the players to watch? Score predictions? Let us know @ekhorneARD or #DavisvsRingling on Twitter.
  • Toward the end of Ringling's scrimmage against Tishomingo last week, the sea parted and Tish running back Jason Dollar had acres of space to run in.
    Dollar scored on the 40-yard run, the only touchdown the Blue Devils gave up that Friday.
    That can't happen against Davis. Not if the Blue Devils want to end their three-year slump against the Wolves.
    "They execute so well," Ringling coach Tracy Gandy said. "Those little breakdowns, like on that play in the scrimmage ... those little breakdowns will get you beat against the Wolves."
    Like the Ardmore-Ada contest, the tables are turned in Ringling-Davis.
    Davis had the experience edge last season, but Ringling — the defending state champions in Class A — bring back almost its entire team from 2012.
    "They've got basically the entire offense back," Davis coach Jody Weber said. "They're just really polished for this early. You're not gonna see as many first game mistakes as you'd normally expect to see out of a team in week 1."
    The two state finalists from a year ago take this year's game to Rick Gandy Field. The Wolves beat the Blue Devils 44-19 last season at Davis.
    Ringling has the experience edge, but Davis is never short for talent. The Wolves have a potential home run hitter at quarterback in Blake Summers, a 247-pound fullback in Braden Ruth and size on the offensive line that can match what Ringling will trot out.
    "I actually learned a little bit about our team. Our skill kids can run," Weber said about preseason. "Obviously our quarterback (Summers) is a great track athlete and Mitchell Scott ran on our (state championship 4x100) relay. We're not as fast overall but we're definitely not a slow football team."
    For the first time in a while, however, Gandy thinks his team can match Davis for speed, particularly with quarterback Taner Richardson and running backs Braidon Willis and Flint Wilson.
    "Davis is always a concern," Gandy said. "Besides the fact that they are so talented and so fast, you've got to throw in there that they've been the model of consistency for the last 40 years in Oklahoma football."
    Since the two southern Oklahoma powerhouses rekindled their rivalry in 2010, Davis is 3-0 and has outscored Ringling 124-26 in those games.
    Tonight's game will be Ringling's best opportunity for a win since the series' rebirth. Win or lose, Gandy said he's privileged to be a part of the game.
    It's not a bad starting point, either. After losing to Davis a year ago, Ringling didn't lose again the rest of the season.
    "That's the great thing about competing against them: they bring out the very best in you," Gandy said. "They're a class program, class people.
    Page 2 of 2 - "There's nothing negative about the game. We have nothing to lose by playing them and everything to gain."
    Follow Horne on Twitter: @ekhorneARD
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