An old saying in sports is “Offense wins games, defense wins championships.”

An old saying in sports is “Offense wins games, defense wins championships.”

Friday night though for the Ardmore Tigers, it was their defense that stole the show.

A total of five turnovers were earned by the Ardmore defensive unit, as the Tigers beat the Ada Cougars for the sixth straight time, 33-7 at Noble Stadium.

“I thought our effort and intensity were there,” Ardmore coach Josh Newby said. “Obviously I’m pleased with how many takeaways we had, and defensive touchdowns are always a positive. In the end though, we’ve got to get in better shape and eliminate dumb penalties. This is a win though and you never take those for granted.”

For the second straight year, the Tigers put in a resounding first half performance against the Cougars, keeping them off the board for two quarters.

Jadrein Monroe got Ardmore on the board first with a two-yard touchdown run that capped off a nine-play 60-yard opening drive for the Tigers.

Following the extra point by Rafael Interiano, Ardmore led 7-0 with just under six minutes to go in the first quarter.

Then, the Tigers brought their own version of thunder and lightning on the defensive side of the ball.

On a 3rd and 18 from their own 17 yard line, Ada quarterback Zac Carroll was hit hard by Cameron Petties, as he was attempting to release a pass.

Senior defensive lineman Trenzel Johnson then found himself at the right place at the right time as he caught the ball out of mid-air at the 12-yard line and scampered into the end zone for the touchdown, sending Noble Stadium and the Ardmore sideline into a frenzy. 

The extra point was no good, putting the Tigers up 13-0 at the 4:50 mark of the first quarter.

Ardmore’s next score would come off the foot of Interiano, as he nailed a 42-yard field goal to put the Tigers up 16-0 at the 10:04 mark of the second quarter.

Just over eight minutes later though, it was Ardmore’s defense coming through again, this time with a pick six.

Nathan Taylor was able to read Carroll’s pass to perfection as he intercepted the ball in stride and then dashed 50-yards for the touchdown, giving the Tigers a 23-0 lead with just two minutes to go before halftime.

Interiano showed off his impressive leg once again before halftime, this time easily converting a 44-yard field goal to send the Tigers into the locker room leading 27-0.

After the break though, cramping began to rear its ugly head as the Tigers began to suffer its effects.

Ada was more than happy to take advantage as the Cougars capitalized on their first takeaway of the game by driving 65 yards in one play thanks to Walt Labove, making the score 26-7 with less than six minutes to go in the third. 

“I thought we let being tired overtake our mind a little,” Newby said about the third quarter. 

“Defensively we didn’t close a few blocks, and they (Ada) hit a seam on us. But I thought we rebounded and played better in the fourth quarter.”

There was little drama the rest of the way, as Ardmore sealed the victory thanks to a one-yard touchdown run by Jermaine Scallion early in the fourth quarter.

Petties was the leading rusher for Ardmore carrying the ball 10 times for 85 yards.

Eean Ross finished with nine carries for 52 yards, with Monroe totaling 10 carries for 51 yards and one touchdown.

Tero Roberts finished the game with six carries for 38 yards along with going 3-for-5 passing for 25 yards. 

He also had an interception on defense. 

“I’m proud of all these kids,” Newby said.

“Cameron (Petties) hardly came off the field all night. Tero (Roberts) and Eean (Ross) were cramping a lot and they still wanted to go out there. But the coach in me is just always going back to the fact that we need to get better.”

Ardmore (1-0) will be on the road at 7:30 p.m. Friday night when the Tigers take on the Durant Lions on the campus of Southeastern Oklahoma State University.