With the season just past the midway point, some teams can start thinking about the possibility of making the playoffs. However, when it comes to the No. 2 Ardmore Tigers, despite being 6-0 overall and 3-0 in district play, they aren’t looking ahead to anything except the opponent in front of them. At 7 p.m. Friday night, the Tigers will make their second straight trip to the Oklahoma City metro area, as they will tangle with the Southeast Spartans at C.B. Speegle Stadium on the campus of Capitol Hill High School. While the Spartans currently sit bottom of the table in district 5A-1, Tigers coach Josh Newby has been quick to emphasize to his team that Southeast deserves just as much respect as any other opponent they have faced.
“I thought Southeast last year had a great plan against us,” Newby said. “They played well on offense and defense, and actually had two touchdowns called back because of penalties. We need to get off the bus ready to play Friday night.” Last week the Tigers had to endure a rash of penalties, as well as a hostile road environment to ultimately claim a 31-17 victory over El Reno at Memorial Stadium. It was the first game this season the Tigers had given up more than 15 points, as well as the first game the Ardmore defense hadn’t recorded a turnover. El Reno became just the second team this season to tie Ardmore during a game, joining Lawton MacArthur who managed to do it in week four at 7-7.“We learned a big lesson as a team against El Reno,” Newby said. “You have to truly respect every opponent in this district. This
district is a grind every week. I think our kids have really taken that message to heart this week.”
“We’ve got to take care of Southeast and play well there hopefully,” Newby added. “Southeast is known for running a great zone scheme, so our defense needs to be in position at all times. On offense we need to keep the ball away from them and just do our job.”
On the flip side of this matchup, the Spartans have struggled the last four games after winning their first two of the season.
Southeast was easily defeated last week against the No. 10 Duncan Demons 59-14 at Halliburton Stadium, and have given up 40 or more points in every district game this season so far.
A victory for the Tigers would all but lock up a playoff berth, with a showdown against the Demons looming next Thursday night at Noble Stadium.