It might sound cliche to some, but the Ardmore Tigers will certainly feel there is no place like home Friday night.
That’s because when the Tigers take the field at Noble Stadium at 7:30 p.m. against El Reno, it will mark the first time in nearly a month the Ardmore football team has gotten to play in front of its home fans.
Ardmore’s last regularly scheduled home game against McAlester was washed out on Sept. 20, meaning the Tigers only game at Noble Stadium came against Durant on Sept. 13.
“We haven’t had a home game since Sept. 13, and I don’t think people realize that,” Ardmore coach Josh Newby said. “There was the rain out with McAlester and then we had the road trips to Lawton and Altus which we call the ‘Western Swing’. But our kids are excited to play at home and they realize what is at stake Friday night.”
What’s at stake is a possible inside track to the district title for the Tigers should they win.
Ardmore enters this contest atop the district 5A-1 standings at 2-0 with 29 district points just ahead of Noble who sits with a similar district record, but with 21 district points.
Speaking of Noble, the Bears and the Indians had a shootout last week in El Reno, where they combined for 134 points as Noble won 72-62 against the Indians, handing them their first loss of the season.
Things were much easier on the other side of the state in Altus for the Tigers, as they handed the Bulldogs their first home shutout since 2012 at Hightower Memorial Stadium with a 28-0 victory.
“Anytime Dorian Plumley is pulling the trigger at quarterback for El Reno, they are going to be explosive on the offensive end,” Newby said. “He is a very tough athlete who is a dual threat in every sense of the word. He’s unbelievable and is very accurate with his passes. We’ve got our hands full with this offense because they also have a good receiving core and a great running attack.”
“Defensively El Reno has a lot of kids who will fly around and get into position quickly,” Newby added. “The biggest thing for us is that we have to have long sustained drives and keep Plumley off the field as much as possible. El Reno is a team that is on the rise, and we will need to play well Friday night.”
Last season when these two teams met in El Reno, it was the Tigers who came away with a 31-17 victory over the Indians.
When the Indians last came to Noble Stadium in 2017, Ardmore was able to win 37-13.
The last time El Reno defeated the Tigers was in 2009 in El Reno.