LAWTON — It was nice of the Lawton High coaches to arrange for Ardmore’s players to enjoy watermelon after Friday’s final scrimmage, but what Tigers’ head coach Josh Newby really wanted to gain from the session was a chance to go against the speed of the Wolverines.

LAWTON — It was nice of the Lawton High coaches to arrange for Ardmore’s players to enjoy watermelon after Friday’s final scrimmage, but what Tigers’ head coach Josh Newby really wanted to gain from the session was a chance to go against the speed of the Wolverines.

The Wolverines burned the Tigers late in the session when talented wide receiver Dominick Neal slipped behind the safety and caught a perfect strike from LHS quarterback Elias Hopper for a touchdown.

It left the Tigers’ head coach upset at what he’d just witnessed.

“I wasn’t proud of our pass coverage; we missed the strength call at times and since I’m the secondary coach, it left me a little upset,” Newby said. “But, that’s why we scrimmage Lawton. We love scrimmaging them because Coach (Randy) Breeze and his son (Ryan) do a great job with their guys and they are willing to work with us and let us work on things that will help us get better. And we love to go against their speed.

“That’s the type of speed we’re going to see in our district and in the playoffs and going against their guys will only make us better, especially back there in the secondary. We will learn from this.”

That late 70-yard LHS touchdown pass arranged a 14-13 score in the simulated game at the end of the session, with the difference being a couple of PAT kicks by Ardmore’s Raphael Interiano. 

The first LHS score came on a two-play drive where Jayquan Lincoln raced 46 yards on a reverse and then Miles Davis broke open on a sweep around the left side for a 24-yard TD scamper. The Wolverines missed that PAT attempt.

Meanwhile the Tigers were doing their damage on the ground, mixing the option game and some tough running from several backs.

But the key was the play of quarterback Tero Roberts.

“The thing we really wanted to work on was our communication,” Newby said after the scrimmage. “Our communication was poor in the first scrimmage, so we came out determined to work on those problems before the opener. We calmed down that part of the offense and did a much better job tonight.

“I thought Tero did a good job running the offense. He’s been in the program and has continued to learn and improve. We’re just trying to keep perfecting the offense and get ready for the district schedule.”

The Tigers went as far as to set up their radio communications and the coaches who will be in the press box on game nights, were there last night helping call plays and making adjustments. 

One of the highlights Friday for the Tigers was the hard running of several backs.

“I thought our backs did a good job,” Newby said. “Eean Ross, Chantz Scurry and Jadrein Monroe all ran hard and were hard to bring down. We feel good about the depth we have there.”

Scurry scored on a third-and-goal from about seven yards out, then after the Wolverines exploded for their quick two-play TD drive, Ross scored on a nice run from about 12 yards out. Interiano toed that PAT and it proved to be the difference between the two well-matched teams. 

The LHS defensive coaches knew that the Ardmore backs would run tough.

“We knew they had backs who would get downhill on you and that you needed to tackle well and we did do better as the scrimmage progressed,” LHS defensive coordinator Ashley Henley said. “We wanted to give our linebackers a good test and we got it from Ardmore. They have backs who run hard and are hard to bring down.

“They also run that option which is different from most of the stuff we see in district. Ardmore looks like it will have another contender this season. They made us work for everything.”

The Tigers will visit Ada Friday in their season opener while the 6A-II Wolverines will host 5A power Carl Albert Thursday night at Cameron Stadium.