Facing one of their toughest challenges of the season so far, the No. 2 Ardmore Tigers found a way to once again rise above.

Facing one of their toughest challenges of the season so far, the No. 2 Ardmore Tigers found a way to once again rise above.

The Tigers never trailed against the No. 4 Altus Bulldogs Friday night, as they led wire-to-wire and ultimately came away with a convincing 21-6 victory at Noble Stadium on Pink Out night. 

“It was a physical battle for sure,” Ardmore coach Josh Newby said. “I mean down on the field you could hear those pads popping loud. That’s a very well coached team. Our kids found a way to win tonight.”

Perhaps the biggest difference in the game was what Ardmore did with its passing game rather than with its normal running game.

Twice on the night, Tigers quarterback Tero Roberts found Eean Ross on 3rd and long, with both plays leading to touchdowns later in their respective drives.

The first such play came in the opening quarter when Ross hauled in a 25 yard catch on a 3rd and 19, before Roberts dashed his way 47 yards for a touchdown two plays later to give Ardmore a 7-0 lead with 7:38 left in the first quarter.

Ross and Roberts would strike the right note again in the third quarter when on a 3rd and 13, the pair connected, this time for 27 yards.

On the very next play, Roberts found the end zone from 13 yards out to give the Tigers what was then a 21-6 lead with 7:44 left in the third quarter.

The game was ultimately sealed late in the fourth quarter when Creed Cox grabbed an interception off a tipped pass, marking the fifth straight game the Ardmore defense has recorded at least one turnover this season. 

“I was very proud of Eean (Ross) and his hands tonight,” Newby said. “That’s something he’s been working very hard in practice and over time. I knew if we could force Altus into a passing situation, I was fairly confident our defense could step up and take care of business.”

Altus’ only big pass play of the night came on a very controversial drive just before halftime. 

Bulldogs quarterback Kobi Gomez found Javon Bostic for a 53-yard strike downfield, only moments after Ardmore was flagged on the previous play for a late personal foul call for an alleged stomp on the hand of Bostic. 

The penalty was one of 14 flags against the Tigers on the night, as opposed to just six for the Bulldogs.

Nehemiah McCaskill would later cash in on the drive as he pushed his way in for the one-yard touchdown, but the Bulldogs would miss the extra point, leaving the Tigers ahead 7-6 with 5:00 left before halftime.

However, momentum would again shift in favor of the Tigers as they turned to Jadrein Monroe just before the break. 

Monroe carried the ball six times on the Tigers final drive of the first half, as he finished it off with a three-yard touchdown run, giving Ardmore a 14-6 lead after the extra point from Rafael Interiano with 40 seconds left before halftime. 

Roberts finished the night with 17 carries for 174 yards and two touchdowns, while Monroe totaled 14 carries for 67 yards and one touchdown. 

Ardmore was able to hold the Bulldogs to their lowest total for rushing yards this season with 46 for the entire game. 

The Tigers (5-0, 2-0) will be back in action at 7 p.m. Friday night taking on the El Reno Indians at Memorial Stadium in El Reno.