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Ardmore football falls short against Carl Albert

Beau Bearden
bbearden@gannett.com

MIDWEST CITY — The Ardmore High School football team knew a second-round playoff clash with Carl Albert would be no cakewalk. The Titans had won four straight Class 5A Championships and also had the advantage of playing all of their games this season.

The Tigers hadn’t been as fortunate during an up-and-down campaign, but they gave it their all Friday night in a season-ending 49-14 loss.

“I don’t like the scoreboard, but if you base this game on attitude and effort, I’d extremely proud to be their coach tonight,” said Ardmore head coach Josh Newby. “We had Carl Albert on the ropes in the first half, but defensively we just didn’t have enough firepower. They’re an incredible offense, but our kids hustled and played hard tonight. And again, I’m proud to be their coach tonight.”

There were a lot of things to be proud of, but the game ultimately came down to a pair of penalties on a play that would have tied the game late in the second quarter.

Ardmore senior Donald May took a handoff and ran down the sideline for a score, only to have a holding call bring it back. That combined with an unsportsmanlike penalty put the Tigers in a tough spot and they threw an interception on the next play.

“We tie it up 14-14 right there, but we get that penalty,” Newby said. “That’s when they got the momentum and we didn’t get it back. But again, I am proud of the effort. I thought we played hard tonight. And I think Carl Albert realized that, too.”

The Titans made sure to capitalize on the interception as they went down and scored to take a 28-7 lead into halftime.

Ardmore did make it interesting early in the third quarter on May’s 12-yard touchdown run to bring the Tigers within 35-13, but they couldn’t inch any closer.

Ardmore's Donald May runs the ball Friday night against Carl Albert. The senior rushed for 141 yards and a touchdown in his final game.

Ricky Smith rushed for 39 yards and a touchdown, while May carried the ball 22 times for 141 yards and a touchdown.

“Donald almost played every snap of the game with tremendous effort,” Newby said. “He ran the ball extremely hard. He did get a little neck injury and wanted to come back in. He played free safety all night. He’s an amazing kid and gave an amazing effort.”

But it wasn’t just May, as Newby also said the other seniors did a “really good job leading” and mentioned Alijah Pickens, Kolby Lamb as two notable athletes.

Ardmore finishes the season with a record of 4-4 and will have to replace 10 seniors.

“This was our eighth game going into Week 12,” Newby said. “Carl Albert has gotten to play every one of them. In the end, they’re a great football team. We respect them, but I thought we played hard tonight. I’m super proud of my kids. We’ll definitely be back.”