EDMOND — Despite facing overwhelming odds Friday night, including a constant presence from Mother Nature, the No. 2 Ardmore Tigers gave No. 1 Carl Albert all it could handle.

EDMOND — Despite facing overwhelming odds Friday night, including a constant presence from Mother Nature, the No. 2 Ardmore Tigers gave No. 1 Carl Albert all it could handle.

Unfortunately, the Tigers weren’t able to dethrone the defending champion Titans, as Ardmore fell 17-10 in the Class 5A state championship game at Wolves Stadium on the campus of Edmond Santa Fe High School. 

The victory means the Titans are Class 5A state champions for the third straight season, and the 15th time overall in school history. 

Ardmore ends its season at 13-1 overall, marking the first time the Tigers have won 13 games in a season since 1992. This was also the first appearance for Ardmore in the state finals under head coach Josh Newby. 

Following the game, an emotional coach Newby was full of praise for his players, and the Ardmore fans, who filled the entire visitors section at Wolves Stadium, leading to a standing room only crowd on the Tigers side.

“This was a very adversity filled night for us,” he said. “When you have to play a strong Carl Albert side to begin with along with all the delays, we had a lot going against us. Our kids rose to the occasion tonight. These kids have changed the culture of Ardmore football and shown that we are a tough and gritty program. I’m very thankful for them.”

“I want to say thank you to the community of Ardmore,” Newby said. “Thank you so much for all the support you have given me, my players and my coaching staff this season. To see our stands filled to capacity like that tonight was tremendous and meant the world to all of us.” 

Two big moments in the second half ultimately changed the course for the Tigers from grabbing gold to being handed silver.

First, the Tigers were given a controversial personal foul on their opening drive of the second half. 

After surprising the Titans by recovering a pooch kick, Ardmore was in business at the Carl Albert 28-yard line.

However, on first down, Tigers quarterback Tero Roberts reversed course on a draw play and was taken down at the 29-yard line.

But, the officials ruled that the Tigers were guilty of an “illegal blindside block”, which resulted in a 15-yard penalty, but moved Ardmore back 24-yards, resulting in a Tigers punt three plays later.

The penalty was one of four 15-yard penalties called on Ardmore throughout the night, Carl Albert was never flagged for a penalty involving a personal foul in contest, only being flagged three times in the entire game for 20 yards. 

Ironically, it only took the Titans three plays to regain the lead at 14-10 after Ben Harris connected with Chris Veales for a 74-yard touchdown pass with 8:50 to go in the third quarter.

The second incident which derailed the Tigers momentum came late in the fourth quarter with Ardmore moving down the field at a rapid pace.

Down 17-10 following a 30-yard field goal from the Titans in the third quarter, Ardmore was faced with a fourth down from the 15 yard line, after beginning the drive at its own four yard line.

However, just before the ball was to be snapped on the fourth down play, the lights went out in Wolves Stadium.

It was later announced that the power outage was due to the Wolves Stadium lights going into energy saver mode after being on for an extended amount of time.

14 minutes later, after the third delay of the night, the Tigers were allowed to line up again.

Unfortunately, Titans defensive end Alphonse Joseph recorded a sack, and the Tigers turned the ball over. 

Dadrion Taylor initially gave the Titans a 7-0 lead in the first quarter with a 75-yard touchdown run, before the game was delayed for 63-minutes due to a storm in the area.

Both teams were forced to wait 80-minutes before the initial kickoff due to lightning and heavy rain in the area.

When the game restarted for the second time, Ardmore found itself down 7-0 going into the second quarter.

That’s when Roberts and the Ardmore defense regained control.

With 1:53 left before halftime, Roberts pushed his way into the end zone for a one-yard touchdown to tie the game at 7-7. 

Two plays later, Jaamarre Williams leaped up and picked off Harris, giving the Ardmore offense one last chance to score before halftime.

Rafael Interiano stepped up and drilled a 36-yard field goal to give the Tigers a 10-7 lead going into the halftime break.

Roberts finished with 34 carries for 156 yards in the contest with one touchdown.