Through five games this season, the No. 2 Ardmore Tigers have seen just about everything.
They’ve been in blowouts and even close contests, such as the one they had last week against then No. 4 Altus.
But perhaps one of their biggest challenges awaits them at 7 p.m. Friday night at Memorial Stadium in El Reno against the Indians.
While they aren’t ranked in any polls, the Indians have quietly been going about their business since an opening week loss against Class 4A power Poteau on the road.
Since their defeat to the Pirates, El Reno has gone on a four-game winning streak, scoring at least 30 or more points in all of those contests, and at the same time giving them their first 4-1 start since the 2009 season.
More importantly though, the Indians enter this contest at 2-0 in the district standings along with Ardmore.
The Indians success is something that has caught the attention of the Tigers and coach Josh Newby heading into their matchup this week.
“El Reno is 4-1 and they haven’t lost since week zero against Poteau,” Newby said. “Coach (Chuck) Atchison has done a great job of rebuilding the attitude of the program. That really showed last week when they came back to defeat Noble in the fourth quarter. We’ve got our hands full this week so we need to get off the bus focused and ready.”
Leading the show offensively for the Indians is sophomore quarterback Dorian Plumley, who has totaled three 100 plus yard rushing performances this season.
Plumley can also torch teams with his arm, as was evidenced with his 6-of-15 performance last week against the Bears for 161 yards, but it came with two interceptions.
Dyson Plumley is one of his brother’s favorite targets on the field, as he totaled four catches against Noble for 117 yards and one touchdown.
Another target the Tigers will have to watch out for is tight end Kolton Hunt, who finished with two catches for 44 yards last week.
Spearheading the Indians rushing attack as well are backs Kord LaFoe and De’Kota Wilson, who each racked up 100 plus yard performances last week against the Bears.
Last week alone, Wilson registered a season-high 14 carries for 134 yards, while LaFoe finished with 15 carries for 114 yards, as part of a 484 yard offensive total on the night for El Reno.
“The Plumley kid (Dorian) at quarterback is amazing,” Newby said. “He can run, and he’s only a sophomore, so we’re going to have to deal with him for a long time. He runs the show very well for them. El Reno has a strong stable of backs, as well as some great tight ends. We’re going to have to play really great defense, and hopefully our offense can keep the ball away from them.”
Speaking of defense, El Reno’s “Blue Crush” defense as they are known as put on a show in the second and fourth quarters last week against the Bears, holding Noble to just eight points combined in both frames as well as just 215 yards over both quarters.
But, Ardmore will be bringing its own stout defense, as well as a quick strike offense.
Last week the Tigers became the first team this season to hold the Altus Bulldogs below 100 yards rushing as they won 21-6 at Noble Stadium.
The Tigers defense has also recorded at least one turnover in every game this season, while not allowing more than 15 points in any contest.
Offensively, Ardmore has scored 20 plus points in every game this year, and is led by senior quarterback Tero Roberts as well as running backs Jadrein Monroe, Cameron Petties, Eean Ross, and Jermaine Scallion.
When these two teams met in the district opener last season at Noble Stadium it was the Tigers coming from behind for a 37-13 victory.
However, the last time Ardmore paid a visit to Memorial Stadium in 2016, it was the Tigers winning 68-14 over the Indians.
“We understand that we’re going to get everyone’s best shot, and that we have everyone’s attention,” Newby said. “Our biggest thing is remaining focused right now and coming off the bus ready.”