For one half Friday night, it looked as though the No. 13 Ardmore Tigers were going to be in for a rough home debut.

For one half Friday night, it looked as though the No. 13 Ardmore Tigers were going to be in for a rough home debut.

But there are four quarters in football for a reason.

Ardmore used two long rushing touchdowns as the catalyst for a second half surge as the Tigers evened their record at 1-1 with a 28-2 victory over the Durant Lions at Noble Stadium. 

The 28 points scored was a welcomed sight for head coach Josh Newby and his squad, who were shutout for the first time since 2008 last week against Ada. 

“I think we grew up a little tonight, but I think we need to start growing up a little quicker,” Newby said. “The kids played gritty and tough, and I’m proud of them. We executed well, but we still have a long way to go before we’re satisfied with ourselves.”

“The community of Ardmore is tough, and I think these kids resemble the community,” Newby said. “Our kids are playing smart and doing things right. We’re going to have a big test next week against McAlester because they are doing some great things on offense right now.”

Ardmore’s opening offensive drive turned into a nightmare scenario as Durant recovered a fumble on the Tigers 25-yard line early in the first quarter.

However, the Tigers defense had a surprise in store for the Lions as Ardmore came up with a clutch interception thanks to lineman Cordarius Tyner coming up with the grab.

After a Tigers punt, the Ardmore defense got its second turnover of the game when Desmond Brown recovered a fumble on the first play for the Lions following the punt. 

Following a lengthy drive which began on their own 17-yard line, the Tigers were finally rewarded with their first touchdown of the season, a five-yard scamper from Creed Cox to make it 7-0 at the 5:12 mark of the first quarter.

A third turnover was to be had for the Tigers defense before the end of the first quarter as Quincy Walker got a fumble recovery, ending the frame with a 7-0 Ardmore lead. 

There was no scoring in the second quarter, but fans would be treated to plenty of excitement in the third.

Ardmore’s defense produced a three-and-out from the Lions to start the frame, and then the offense went to work. 

Donald May took the hand off and dashed his way 76-yards down the left side for the touchdown, making it 14-0 at the 9:37 mark following the extra point. 

“We were needing a play like that,’ Newby said. “Our kids managed to block well and that play gave us a lot of energy, as well as the big touchdown that Jaamarre scored soon after that.”

Just under two minutes later though, a bad snap gave the Lions a safety, making it 14-2.

After both teams traded punts, the Lions managed to pin the Tigers back on their own one-yard line.

The long field proved to be no problem for running back Jaamarree Williams. 

Williams took a hand off to the right side, and then dashed his way down the field for a 99-yard touchdown run, sending Noble Stadium into a frenzy as it gave Ardmore a 21-2 lead with one minute left in the third. 

“I’ve never ran 99-yards in one sequence like that,” Williams said. “I got a good block on the end, and then I cut up and saw the open grass so I went for it. I knew there was someone close to me, but I just had to keep going. The touchdown feels good, but all I care about is that we got a win as a team.”

“I got the ball and took off,” May said. “For a moment there I felt like I was going down and then I realized I could still go so I took off. The 4x100 relay really helped me out there, because I just thought about track and needing to take off. That score got us all hyped up and gave us the boost we needed to keep working hard out there.”

With 14 seconds left in the game, Walker capped off his solid night with a three yard touchdown run, finishing off the Lions. 

Williams finished the game with five carries for 101 yards and one touchdown.

May finished with five carries for 84 yards with one touchdown, while Cox finished with 65 yards rushing in the game.

Ardmore is back at home at 7:30 p.m. Friday night against the McAlester Buffaloes, in what will be the final non-district game of the year.