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Tigers use balanced attack in blowout win over Southeast

Beau Bearden
bbearden@gannett.com

It wouldn’t have been too surprising if the Ardmore High School football team showed some signs of rust after two weeks without a game or even a snap at practice.

But the break wasn’t an issue as the Tigers got off to a fast start Friday night and never looked back in a 53-16 victory over Southeast at Noble Stadium.

“We were looking to pass more, and our receivers caught great and our running backs ran great,” said Ardmore quarterback Cal Swanson. “It was just a very well-played game.”

And Swanson was a big part of that.

The sophomore put on a show in just his second start for the Tigers by completing all six of his passes for 102 yards and three touchdowns — all to different receivers.

Dakaree Scott hauled in a 44-yard touchdown pass, while Jalen Reed caught a 23-yard score and Donald May joined the fun with a 22-yard touchdown reception.

Ardmore's Dakaree Scott pulls away from a Southeast defender for a 44-yard touchdown.

“I was very proud of (Cal),” said Ardmore head coach Josh Newby. “I thought he was efficient and accurate. I wish we could have thrown more, but we were trying to keep the game within reason and be as classy as we could with the score.”

There’s no telling how many yards Swanson could have racked up if the Tigers didn’t take the conservative route. However, Ardmore’s ground attack was on full display as Antone Scallion, Donald May and Khaleel McGee combined to run the ball 12 times for 239 yards and four touchdowns.

Scallion led the way with three carries for 156 yards and two touchdowns. The junior would have finished with three scores, but one was called back on a penalty.

“I feel like we came out and did a pretty great job for our return,” Scallion said. “If we keep our mindset to where we want to be at the end of the season, we can be great at anything we do.”

And that’s exactly what Newby wants from the Tigers in the remaining games, especially after dealing with some issues against Southeast.

However, there were a number of backups playing for most of the second half as Dakota Mitchell found Elijah Franks for a score late in the third quarter.

“I was proud of the execution early in the game,” Newby said. “(But) when the score got a little lopsided, things got sloppy, which I’m disappointed in. There’s always things to improve and we’ll definitely improve.”

The sloppiness also carried over to other aspects of the game as both teams struggled to keep their tempers in check. There were a number of unsportsmanlike penalties and near scuffles breaking out on the field.

“We always talk about controlling your emotions and we lost it a little tonight,” Newby said. “I think the kids realize now, ‘Hey, coach knows what he’s talking about and we better do what he says.’ It was definitely a learning experience tonight and I think our kids realize that.”

Ardmore will have plenty of time to learn as it won’t play until 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 9 on the road against Duncan. The Tigers were supposed to travel to Altus on Friday, Oct. 2, but the game has been postponed.

Newby still hadn’t heard back from the school late Friday, but he expects to get confirmation on the game being moved to Monday, Oct. 19.

Nevertheless, Ardmore will focus on itself for the next two weeks.

“When you don’t have an opponent, you’re just on a mission to do the best you can to try to win a district championship,” Newby said. “That’s what we’re keeping in my mind. And that’s why we’re going to practice hard because we’re trying to go after to win it. We’re not picked to win it, so we’re trying to do what we can to give ourselves a chance.”