OKLAHOMA CITY — When it comes to upsets in the playoffs, there is a formula that has to be followed in order for one to be pulled off.
OKLAHOMA CITY — When it comes to upsets in the playoffs, there is a formula that has to be followed in order for one to be pulled off. Turnovers on offense are usually not apart of that plan. Unfortunately, the Ardmore Tigers got bitten by the turnover bug, and it led to an unfortunate exit Friday night. A disastrous third quarter by Ardmore gifted Bishop McGuinness a huge advantage, as the No. 2 Fighting Irish eliminated the Tigers from the Class 5A playoffs at Pribil Stadium in Oklahoma City by a score of 46-14. “Just the turnovers in the third quarter is the difference in the game,” Ardmore coach Josh Newby said. “We played a very clean first half and I was very proud of that performance. When you turn the ball over in a playoff game its hard to win.” “I thought our kids and coaching staff executed our game plan very well in the first half,” Newby added. “We were planning on continuing it in the second half, and then we just turned the ball over. You can’t do things like that against Bishop McGuinness, who has been near the top of 5A all season. I’m so proud of this group, and they made this season very fun for me. We found a way to get into the playoffs and that’s something I’m very proud of.” The Fighting Irish opened the game with a quick three-play drive that spanned 59 yards with Dominic Richardson scoring from four yards out to make it 7-0. Ardmore then responded with a long 11-play drive that began at their own 26-yard line and was finished off with a six yard touchdown run from Creed Cox to make it 7-7 at the 4:50 mark of the first quarter. Just before the end of the opening frame though, disaster struck in more ways than one for the Tigers. Not only did McGuinness take the lead at 13-7 after a five yard touchdown run from Luke Tarman, but the Tigers had a defensive player ejected following a late hit on an Irish player to his knee. Despite the setbacks, Ardmore held its nerve for the rest of the first half, as the Tigers created chances on offense while holding strong on defense. Ardmore went for the end zone twice near the end of the first half with tosses to Anthony Jones, but the Fighting Irish stacked the coverage against the standout wide receiver, leading to a pair of incomplete passes. As the third quarter started, the Tigers were moving the ball with ease and looked to be in control of the offense. Then on a 1st and 10 from their own 41 yard line, the Tigers fumbled the ball with the Irish recovering. Richardson would score on the ensuing drive to make it 20-6. Ardmore would turn the ball over on its next four possessions (three fumbles, one interception), with Bishop McGuinness taking full advantage and building a commanding 46-7 lead at the end of the third. Ardmore would have one more fumble in the fourth quarter, before Cal Swanson found Donald May for a 73 yard touchdown pass with 2:33 left in the fourth for the final points of the game. The Tigers finish the season with an overall record of 6-4.