One could have forgiven the Ardmore Tigers Friday night for forgetting how it felt to play at home, considering the game against El Reno was their first at Noble Stadium in almost a month.
Unfortunately, the Indians offense was as unforgiving as possible.
Ardmore struggled from the opening snap and never recovered as the Indians handed the Tigers their first district loss of the season by a score of 35-20 on Pink Out Night.
Ardmore is back at Noble Stadium at 7:30 p.m. Thursday night for Homecoming against Southeast.
“We as a staff knew El Reno was a team on the rise,” Ardmore coach Josh Newby said. “They out executed us from the very beginning. I thought their effort level was better than ours from the beginning, that’s a hard pill to swallow but it’s the truth.”
“We’re going back to the fundamentals this week,” Newby said. “We broke down and we had too many people not doing their jobs, but instead trying to do other peoples jobs.”
Ardmore’s first offensive drive never got off the ground as the Tigers fumbled the ball, giving it to the Indians deep in their own territory at the Ardmore 34-yard line.
Eight plays later, Dorian Plumley would find the end zone for the touchdown from three yards out to make it 7-0 at the 8:21 mark.
Ardmore nearly had an immediate response on the first play of their second possession as Jaamarre Williams dashed his way 65-yards for a touchdown.
But the score was wiped off the board due to a holding penalty.
Ardmore’s drive eventually stalled out as an incomplete pass on 4th and 27 from the Indians’ 40-yard line.
The Tigers defense did hold its nerve for the rest of the first quarter as the game stayed at 7-0.
But just 29 seconds into the second quarter, Plumley struck again as he pushed his way in from four yards out to make it 14-0.
With less than seven minutes to go before halftime, Plumley got his third touchdown of the night when he scored from one yard out to make it 21-0 for El Reno.
“Dorian Plumley is an incredible football player,” Newby said. “I was trying to tell that to everyone this week. “He’s a tough runner, an accurate passer, and he’s very explosive. When El Reno is executing like that on offense they are very hard to beat.”
Ardmore finally got its offense rolling near the end of the first half when Creed Cox pushed his way into the end zone on a 4th and goal from the one-yard line to make it 21-7 with 2:20 left in the second.
The Tigers nearly capitalized on their new found momentum when Ethan Lyles forced a fumble on the Indians ensuing possession, giving the Tigers the ball at the El Reno 46-yard line.
Unfortunately, no points resulted from the turnover, which would come back to bite Ardmore in the second half.
Kord Lafoe dashed his way 19-yards less than two minutes into the third quarter for the touchdown, with the Indians getting a two-point conversion off a bobbled snap which led to a defensive breakdown, allowing the El Reno kicker to run in for the score.
Later in the third, Kyle Arneecher got an interception for the Tigers, which eventually led to points for Ardmore thanks to Donald May running in from 12-yards out. The blocked extra point left the score at 29-13.
Near the end of the third quarter though, it was Plumley again for El Reno, this time with his arm.
Plumley connected for a 19-yard pass for a touchdown to make it 35-13.
Late in the fourth quarter, Ricky Smith got a highlight worthy touchdown as he broke loose for a 76-yard rushing score, but it was too little too late for Ardmore.