For Ardmore Tigers senior Rafael Ineteriano, his final run in an Ardmore soccer uniform had a cruel ending on March 8, when he suffered a horrific knee injury against Lawton Eisenhower.

For Ardmore Tigers senior Rafael Ineteriano, his final run in an Ardmore soccer uniform had a cruel ending on March 8, when he suffered a horrific knee injury against Lawton Eisenhower.

But Tuesday night, he found that the injury which occurred just over over a month ago wasn’t truly the end, but a mere pre-cursor to a much more fitting and deserving ending.

Interiano made his first appearance Tuesday night for the Tigers on the sidelines since the injury, and played a brief moment on the field, as his teammates sent him off the right way with a 5-0 victory over Oklahoma Centennial on Senior Night at Noble Stadium. 

While the road for Interiano to return to full fitness will be a long one, including a second surgery to repair his ACL following an initial surgery two weeks ago, his Tiger teammates helped him forget about the pain for 80 minutes in style.

Ardmore couldn’t find the net in the opening half, but they weren’t about to let their brave senior down in the second half.

Xavier Russell slotted the ball home for the opener just a few minutes into the second half off a corner kick to make it 1-0, before the Tigers were given a penalty kick.

Unfortunately, the resulting shot from the spot was saved, but the Tigers wouldn’t be held out for very much longer.

Jose Villagomez ended the night with a pair of goals to make it 3-0, while Robby Musgrove found the back of the net as well.

Ilitch Gomez also got in on the scoring to finish off the game in style.

Following the game when the soccer seniors were announced, Interiano was saved as the last player introduced as he was accompanied by his mother and his sister. 

Upon hearing his name, the Tigers players erupted in celebration and began chants of “Thank you Rafi”, which brought the Tigers soccer and football standout to tears on the field. 

Interiano was able to walk off Noble Stadium one last time, this time under his own power and with his family. 

Ardmore will finish the season Thursday night at Carl Albert in Midwest City.