ADA — It has often been said in the world of sports that offense wins games and defense wins championships.

ADA — It has often been said in the world of sports that offense wins games and defense wins championships.

Friday night at Koi Ishto Stadium on the campus of East Central University in Ada, the Ardmore Tigers defense played about as well as it could have to win any type of game.

Unfortunately, the offense wasn’t given the same courtesy against a stout Cougar defense.

Ada managed to claim a first quarter touchdown which eventually stood up as the only score of the game, as the Cougars defeated Ardmore for the first time since 2012 by a score of 7-0.

The shutout was the first time the Tigers have failed to score in a regular season game since October of 2008 against Guthrie. 

“I thought we played gritty and tough,” Ardmore coach Josh Newby said. “Anytime you lose in this game it’s disappointing. But our kids are going to regroup and when we get to practice on Monday we’re going to work on fixing things and bouncing back.”

“Our defense was tough all night,” Newby added. “We didn’t always line up properly, but we didn’t start pointing fingers. We stayed positive and kept playing hard out there all night.” 

After Ardmore’s defense held its nerve on the Cougars opening drive, it looked as though the Tigers offense was going to get rolling on its initial drive.

With a 2nd and 8 at the Cougars 47-yard line, Donald May went around the left side and scampered for 23-yards and appeared to have the Tigers in prime position to score.

But a holding penalty negated the play, and eventually helped the Cougars get on the board.

On the next play from scrimmage, Ada recovered a fumble at the Tigers 38-yard line, needing just four plays to cap it off with a 15-yard touchdown run from Jessie Campbell to make it 7-0 at the 5:26 mark of the first quarter.

Throughout the rest of the first half neither team could create many sustainable drives deep down the field, as the two rivals went into the locker room with the unusual score of 7-0 in favor of the Cougars.

On the Tigers first drive of the second half, they managed to catch a break on a fourth down, when Ada fumbled the ball and Ardmore recovered at the Cougars 31-yard line.

Unfortunately, an interception ended the drive and the Tigers scoring chance.

After another solid defensive series by the Tigers, Ada gave Ardmore another break on its next offensive possession when the Cougars were called for pass interference on a 4th and 11 at the Ada 31-yard line.

But after the gift, the Tigers were stalled at the 16-yard line, coming away with zero points.

Ardmore’s defense again stepped up to start the fourth quarter as the Tigers forced a bad snap on a Cougars punt attempt, downing the ball at the Ada 36-yard line. 

Unfortunately the drive stalled at the 18-yard line, as Ada once again kept Ardmore off the board.

With time winding down in the game, the Tigers needed a big play.

Enter Alijah Pickens on defense.

As Ada tried to drain the clock, the junior corner stepped up and picked off a pass from Zac Carroll, giving the Tigers one last chance to tie the game late.

Ardmore managed to get down to the Cougars eight yard line, but Kyle Arneecher was picked off by Treston Eaker in the end zone, icing the game for Ada. 

Both Arneecher and Creed Cox saw time at quarterback during the game, with both taking big hits all night.

“I was proud of Kyle,” Newby said. “That was his first action on the field, and he did a good job for us with the way he threw the ball and performed. Creed is just the ultimate warrior and all of our kids just rallied around him. He’s going to be back and he’ll be fine.”

Cox finished the game with 15 carries for 46 yards, while going 3-of-10 passing for 15 yards.

Arneecher finished the game 6-of-14 passing for 45 yards. 

Ardmore will be back in action at 7:30 p.m. Friday night against Durant at Noble Stadium, before hosting the McAlester Buffaloes the following week at home.