When entering district play as the defending multi-time district champions, there’s bound to be a target on your back.

When entering district play as the defending multi-time district champions, there’s bound to be a target on your back.

But the Ardmore Tigers are all too familiar with this feeling.

At 7 p.m. Friday night at Cameron Stadium, the Tigers will begin their defense of the district title, as they make a trip to Lawton for a showdown with MacArthur.

The biggest cloud hanging over the Tigers entering this contest isn’t overall record, but rather the fact that no Ardmore team has won in Cameron Stadium since 2005, when Jermaine Gresham helped spark the Tigers to a victory.

“For years MacArthur has been coached by the Mannings, and they have put together a solid foundation with that program,” Ardmore coach Josh Newby said. “They have a lot of great athletes and a great scheme they run with those athletes. We need to be ready to play against a good team Friday night.”

Last week was two completely different scenarios for both of these teams.

While MacArthur was defeated against the Clinton Red Tornadoes by a score of 28-13, the Tigers didn’t even get to take the field versus the McAlester Buffaloes at home.

Ardmore enters this contest at 1-1 on the season, while the Highlanders are 1-2. 

“I always want to play,” Newby said. “We needed to play, and it’s unfortunate that we couldn’t. Our kids constantly need to see live action and see all the moving parts and how fast they move on the field. But it happened and now we’re moving on to MacArthur.”

Leading the offense for the Highlanders will be senior quarterback Racer Felter. 

Newby had plenty of praise for Felter and the teammates surrounding him which will make up the Highlanders offensive attack Friday night.

“He’s (Racer) is a very good high school quarterback,” Newby said. “He can throw from any arm angle and do it accurately. He’s also a great runner, and he controls that offense very well. MacArthur has some great skill players, and I’d say they are almost as similar to the players they had on their state championship team from 2004.”

“We’ve talked all summer long about if our players can handle adversity the first two weeks of district play,” Newby added. “For the last nine months almost we’ve talked to them and made sure they realize they have to step up and handle adversity this week and next week in Altus if they want to have a chance to be successful.”

Last year when these two teams met at Noble Stadium it was Ardmore winning 40-14.

When the Tigers last visited Cameron Stadium in 2017, MacArthur came away with a 36-7 victory. 

The Tigers will continue their road trip next week when they take on the Altus Bulldogs.