EL RENO — While it might not have been the prettiest game the No.2 Ardmore Tigers have played all season, the result certainly spoke volumes.

EL RENO — While it might not have been the prettiest game the No.2 Ardmore Tigers have played all season, the result certainly spoke volumes.

Ardmore managed to endure a hostile environment at Memorial Stadium, on top of a rash of penalties throughout all four quarters Friday night, eventually claiming a 31-17 victory over the El Reno Indians.

The victory moved the Tigers to 6-0 on the season and 3-0 in district play, leaving them just one point behind the Duncan Demons on district point totals at 45-44.

“I thought we really focused in during the second half and found a way to execute,” Ardmore coach Josh Newby said. “El Reno was ready to play. I commend their staff and their kids, we didn’t match their intensity in the first half, but I felt like we did in the second. I’ve told the kids that we have to prove ourselves every week in this district.”

When Tero Roberts rushed four yards for his second touchdown of the night with 4:48 left in the fourth quarter to make it 31-10, many of the Ardmore faithful felt like they could finally breathe a sigh of relief.

However, the Indians De’Kota Wilson gave El Reno one last gasp of momentum when he scored from 17-yards out with 3:19 left in the fourth, which turned out to be the last big play from the Indians.

The frantic finish was perhaps appropriate for a game which saw both teams combine for 33 penalties for 336 yards with three other 15-yard flags waved off. 

Ardmore had two touchdowns called back during the game, including a 90-yard touchdown run from Michael Bruner on a late holding call just before halftime. 

However, on that same drive, the officials flagged El Reno four times with 15-yard penalties, which eventually led to the Tigers grabbing three points thanks to Rafael Interiano nailing a 37-yard field goal just before halftime, giving Ardmore what was then a 17-7 advantage going into the locker room.

“It was very pivotal,” Newby said about the field goal before halftime. “Something like that gives you momentum and helps you feel really positive about things. Our kids were very positive at halftime and we just tried to address the penalties with them. If we’re going to be the team we want to be, we’ve got to clean up the penalties.” 

Ardmore needed just two plays on its opening drive to take a 7-0 lead as Cameron Petties dashed 21 yards for the touchdown, putting the Tigers up with 9:26 left in the first.

Less than four minutes later though, the Indians were level with Ardmore thanks to Dorian Plumley finding his brother Dyson Plumley for a one-yard touchdown strike.

But with 2:38 left in the first quarter, Ardmore was back in front thanks to an eight-play 80-yard drive, which was capped off by Jadrein Monroe scoring from five yards out to make it 14-7 after Interiano’s extra point.

El Reno tried to threaten in the second half when Wilson converted a 27-yard field goal to make it 17-10 with 5:50 left in the third quarter, but Ardmore had an answer.

Less than three minutes into the fourth quarter, Eean Ross pushed his way into the end zone from two yards out to make it 24-10 for Ardmore.

The Indians “Blue Crush” defense was torched on the night for 350 yards of total offense by the Tigers, including 325 yards rushing on 58 carries by Ardmore. 

Monroe finished as the leading rusher for the Tigers with 24 carries for 124 yards. 

El Reno’s rushing attack was held to just 92 yards on the evening on 22 carries, marking the second straight game an opponent was held below 100 yards rushing against the Tigers. 

Dorian Plumley finished with just 13 carries for 49 yards for the Indians. 

Ardmore (6-0, 3-0) is back on the road Friday night against the Southeast Spartans at C.B. Speegle Stadium in Oklahoma City.