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Ardmore back home for big game against MacArthur

Beau Bearden
bbearden@gannett.com

As is the case in most years, the postseason seedings will come down to the 2020 regular-season finale. The Ardmore High School football team hosts Lawton MacArthur at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 6 and the matchup will determine where both squads land in the playoffs.

“This game Friday night is for third and fourth place,” said Tigers head coach Josh Newby. “I’m sure coach (Brett) Manning has let his kids know that. We’ve let our kids know that. It’s going to be a huge game. Coach Manning does a great job with his kids at Lawton MacArthur. He’s going to have them ready, but so will we.”

And Ardmore will have a few things going in its favor. Not only will Friday be the Tigers’ third consecutive game, but they’ll also return home for the first time since Sept. 25.

“We haven’t played here since Southeast, so it’s exciting to be back home in front of our home fans and community,” Newby said. “The kids are looking forward to it. It’s been a fun week coaching these kids. It’s a fun group to work with.”

Ardmore proved that last week by firing on all cylinders in a 49-27 win over Noble. The Tigers used a strong third quarter to notch the victory after a first-half shootout.

“I thought it was a great team win,” Newby said. “I thought defensively we played better, but we messed up a couple of coverages, which I’m disappointed in. Our kids know that they’re going to have to play really, really well on both sides of the ball Friday night against MacArthur.”

And Ardmore will look to stop the Highlanders (5-2 overall, 3-1 District 5A-1) and their rushing attack, even though Newby said they’re a pretty balanced team this year. But at the end of the day, the Tigers (3-2, 2-2) know they need to play a great game.

“Our kids take pride in the way they play defense, but they’re going to have to because the Lawton MacArthur kids are going to be ready,” Newby said. “They execute really well on offense. Over the past 20 years, in my opinion, Lawton MacArthur is the toughest offense to defend. Coach Brett Manning does that good of a job with his schematics.”

However, Ardmore will still play at least one more home game no matter what happens Friday night.

“It’s exciting to have a home playoff game,” Newby said. “We don’t know who that really is going to be yet, but we’re looking forward to it. Whoever they sign us up to play, we’re going to be ready.”