Ardmore takes early lead, but can't hold off MacArthur
It’s difficult for a squad to win a game when it turns the ball over, especially when most of those miscues come in the second half.
The Ardmore High School football team experienced that misfortunate Friday night as four second-half turnovers were too much to overcome in a 37-22 loss to Lawton MacArthur. And the setback hurt even more as running back Antone Scallion exited the game in the first quarter and never returned.
“Antone is a special player and any time you lose a kid in a game, it kind of takes the energy out of it,” said Ardmore head coach Josh Newby. “But we have all other players, too. In the end, you can’t turn the ball over as many times as we did tonight against a good football team and expect to win.”
The Tigers coughed the ball up twice in the first half, but were still within striking distance as they only trailed 23-14 at halftime. However, two fumbles and an interception in the third proved costly as Ardmore couldn’t get any momentum on offense.
That wasn’t the case for MacArthur though.
The Highlanders went from trailing 14-0 at the 8:40 mark of the first quarter to leading 30-14 with six minutes left in the third. Those 30 unanswered points shifted the momentum in MacArthur’s favor, but Ardmore put a stop to that when sophomore quarterback Cal Swanson rushed for a 16-yard touchdown with 8:43 remaining in the game.
Tigers senior Donald May added a two-point conversion to cut the deficit to 30-22, but Ardmore couldn’t get any closer.
A lot of that had to do with losing Scallion to injury. The junior was on his way to a breakout performance after rushing for a 58-yard touchdown on his first carry of the night. He finished with 98 yards on three carries before leaving the game.
However, Ardmore looked to be its way to a high-scoring night when May took a handoff on the the Tigers' first play from scrimmage for a 50-yard touchdown.
“I thought we were going to have a special night there from the very beginning,” Newby said. “Then (MacArthur) started executing and came back. Credit to them that their kids stayed mentally tough. But I’m still proud of my kids through all the ups and downs of this season. That was only our sixth ball game. And our kids are still tough enough to scratch and claw their way into the playoffs. Through all the disruptions, I’m still proud of that.”
The Tigers finish the regular season with a 3-3 overall record and a 2-3 mark in District 5A-1. Ardmore should finish fourth in the final standings and get to host a game at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 13 in the “play-in round” of the Class 5A State Playoffs.
“In the morning, what happened tonight is in the past,’” Newby said. “We’re moving onto the playoffs and I think it’ll be Woodward here. Through all of the disruptions, we’re still hosting a playoff game. I’m super excited about that.”