In the game for second place, Ardmore finished first.

In the game for second place, Ardmore finished first.

Quarterback Trey Cohee had 140 yards passing and a hand in all three Ardmore touchdowns and the Tigers’ defense capped a strong night with a statement goal-line stand to beat No. 10 Duncan 21-7 Friday at Noble Stadium.

The win pushed Ardmore (6-3, 5-1 District 5A-2) into sole ownership of second place in 5A-2 behind champion Lawton MacArthur. Duncan (5-4, 4-2) was bumped down to third and will start the postseason on the road against defending 5A champion Carl Albert.

Ardmore, winner of five straight, gets the winner of next week’s Deer Creek-Ada game at Noble Stadium in the first round.

“This is a great opportunity,” said senior Andra Brown, who rushed for 119 yards on just 13 carries. “I’ve never had this before and it’s the best feeling ever.”

On the Tigers’ first full possession of the second quarter, Josiah Reed got past the secondary and Cohee found him over the top for a 45-yard touchdown at 9:59. The missed extra point kept the Tigers behind 7-6.

Ardmore again marched down to the Duncan 21, but backed itself up to second-and-13 with consecutive false start penalties. The Tigers were still able to get back to inside the 5, but committed two more penalties on false start and holding calls to stumble back to fourth-and-goal at the 14.

But senior Elijah Cary converted his first kick of the season from 32 yards out to give Ardmore a 9-7 lead before halftime ... and the winning points.

“To battle the way our guys did, I’m very proud of them,” Ardmore coach Larry McBroom said. “They spent a lot of time here this week and the preparation really paid off.”

Ardmore opened the second half energized. The Tigers held the Demons to a turnover on downs and drove 64 yards to the Duncan 1 ... only to have a bad snap on third-and-goal push the Tigers back to the 20.

A touchdown went missing again, but Cohee said the Tigers didn’t worry.

“We never had any doubts,” said Cohee, who called this his No. 1 victory as a starter. “We were mentally tough. We’ve been practicing real hard and I was really confident we could come out and play good.”

Ardmore’s defense held tight again and a 10-yard Duncan punt gave the Tigers prime field position at the Demons’ 33. Cohee only needed two runs to find the end zone, rushing for 15 on first down and scoring from 18 out at 2:54.

Duncan moved the ball between the 20s in the second half, driving 48 yards following Cohee’s score, but Kenyon Gordon returned a Brandon Wilson interception 19 yards to the Ardmore 42 on the first play of the fourth quarter.

That set up Ardmore’s final scoring drive, polished off by a Cohee 5-yard TD run with 9 minutes to go.

Ardmore’s defense produced its signature series with under 5 minutes to go.

Trailing 21-7 in the fourth quarter, Duncan had four opportunities to score from within the 2. On first and second downs, the Demons ran right behind Division I offensive line prospects Dylan Dismuke and Dylan Laurens and got one yard combined. On third-and-goal at the 1 after an Ardmore timeout, Brandon Wilson rolled right and lofted a pass that sailed high and off the fingertips of his tight end.

On fourth down, Bradley Wilson took a pitch right and was met in the backfield by a slew of Ardmore defenders for a 2-yard loss, effectively ending Duncan’s chances.

“We had it scripted out and worked on it all week long,” Duncan coach Jim Holloway said of his goal-line calls. “Sometimes it doesn’t work out. We didn’t get any movement. I thought they were the tougher team.”

Jordan Laskey ran 19 times for 45 yards and Brandon Wilson was 15-of-21 for 174 yards passing to lead Duncan. Wilson scored on a 10-yard keeper on Duncan’s opening drive of the game, but the Demons’ offense was left wanting the rest of the way.

Ardmore held Duncan to 91 yards rushing — 15 in the second half.

“We knew they were big and highly recruited,” Ardmore senior lineman Caleb Hurley said of Duncan’s front line. “We felt like we had to show we can do the same thing they do.

“This is definitely a momentum boost. It gives us a lot of confidence heading into the playoffs.”

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jeri Askins, a native of Duncan, performed the coin toss before the game ... Ardmore receiver Travis Galbreath missed the game against Chickasha due to a concussion, but returned to catch one pass for 44 yards. Reed led Ardmore’s receivers with two catches for 62 yards.

Erik K. Horne