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Scallion's stellar night leads Ardmore past Ada

Beau Bearden
bbearden@gannett.com

A loss can’t be blamed on just one athlete, but Antone Scallion took the brunt of last season’s setback to Ada on his own shoulders. The junior made up for that Friday as his three rushing touchdowns helped propel the Ardmore High School football team to a 21-0 victory over the Cougars at Noble Stadium.

“I’ve been waiting for this game ever since last season,” Scallion said. “I didn’t like how it ended up when we played Ada last season. I just had a chip on my shoulder ever since, because that touchdown that they scored was because I couldn’t get off the block to get them. I just had that chip the whole time that they beat us.”

Scallion went on to say he couldn’t put into words how it felt to shut out Ada at home. It’s safe to say the rest of the Tigers felt the same way, as they cheered loudly after the band played the fight song in front of a large crowd.

“Anytime you can win this first ball game, it’s really good,” said Ardmore head coach Josh Newby. “It sets you on a good pathway. I’m just proud of the kids and proud of their effort.”

The effort and intensity were there all night as the Tigers didn’t allow the Cougars to gain enough momentum to find the end zone. That defensive success carried over to the offense, as Ardmore racked up more than 250 yards on the ground.

Scallion led the way with 117 yards on 18 carries and three touchdowns, but it wasn’t all Scallion.

Donald May, Khaleel McGee and Eric Fields also helped the Tigers control the clock and not allow Ada to have enough time to mount a comeback.

“(My teammates) are really good at running the ball and I wouldn’t want anyone else other than them,” Scallion said. “And Cal (Swanson) is different – he’s going to be something great. I already know he’s going to be if he just stays doing what he has to do. But he’ll be great.”

Swanson finished with nearly 100 yards passing, but he threw a pair of interceptions. However, they came in the second half with momentum already on Ardmore’s side.

“We were just taking some shots and every once in a while, that happens,” Newby said of the interceptions. “I thought he handled himself very well for his first varsity start as a sophomore.”

Swanson has plenty of time to make strides in the right direction and the same can be said of the rest of the Tigers.

“We just have to get better at our regular offense,” Newby said. “I was proud of the effort, but we just have a way to go, though.”

But it’s tough to say that about Scallion as he found his success throughout the entire contest. His first rushing score came with 25 seconds remaining in the first quarter after a long Ardmore drive. The junior then gave the Tigers some breathing room with his second score at the 1:48 mark of the second quarter.

The final touchdown put the nail in the coffin, as Scallion punched it in with 3:01 left in the third quarter.

“I thought Antone ran the ball hard,” Newby said. “He did a good job for us. He took pride in what he was doing and I’m very proud of him.”

But as is the case for all teams, celebration can only last for the night and it was back to business on Saturday. Ardmore is back in action at 7 p.m. Friday on the road against Shawnee.

“We’ll enjoy this tonight, but (Saturday) morning we’ll already be working on Shawnee to give our kids the best chance to win,” Newby said.