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The Daily Ardmoreite
  • Blue Devils in search of another ring

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  • The Ringling Blue Devils have one blemish on the 7-1 season and it was against Class 2A runners up Davis in Week 1. “Even that first week I thought we played really well,” Ringling coach Tracy Gandy said. “We played one of the best teams in small-school football.” Since that 34-28 loss to the Wolves on Sept. 6, Ringling has allowed two touchdowns. “Our defense has come a long way,” Gandy said. “Offensively, we only lost one kid to graduation. So, it didn't take a lot of time for those guys to get back on track. Actually, they're better than they were the year before. “But, our defense, we replaced four starters up front. So that took a little longer than the offense did this year.” Gandy said one of the two touchdowns was against backups, and the other was with Ringling holding a big lead. “We're playing really well on defense,” Gandy said. “Our secondary is playing outstanding too. It's not just our front seven. The (secondary) all played back there a year ago.” When the current seniors were freshmen, they got ample playing time due to a rash of injuries. As sophomores, nine of the group moved into starting roles on offense. “I bet we've got 15 kids that are three-year starters,” Gandy said. “We like where we're at as a team ,and feel like we've played a lot and have a lot of experience.” On Friday, Ringling closes out the regular season at Walters (2-7). Walters, also dubbed the Blue Devils, has four losses by 10 points or fewer and could give Ringling trouble if they overlook the young team. “When you play young kids you have flashes of brilliance, but you're inconsistent,” Gandy said. “That's what youth does to you, makes you a little inconsistent.” Walters coach Glenn Headley came from the Lawton MacArthur coaching staff and will have his team prepared when the lights come on Friday. “They're going to be well coached and they're going to get after us,” Gandy said. “If I understand it correctly, if they beat us, they still have a chance to make the playoffs. They've got a lot to play for. Even if this is their last game, they have a lot of reasons to come play well against us. That's what we're looking for, we expect the best.” Ringling was off last week since Bray-Doyle forfeited due to a lack of players. Gandy said the Friday night off made his team eager to get back to work preparing for a game. The break was also a welcome chance to get injured or tired players back to 100 percent. Ringling has the District 4-1A title wrapped up and expect to face the winner of Friday's game between Watonga and Carnegie in the first round of the playoffs.
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