Lone Grove football gallops past Purcell for Cole's 1st win

Beau Bearden
The Daily Ardmoreite
Lone Grove senior Blayde Wilkerson makes a move as a Purcell defender closes in Friday night. Wilkerson and the Longhorns jumped out to an early lead en route to a 40-7 win.

A successful start usually helps a squad set the tone for the rest of the season. That is especially true when the offense and defense are clicking on all cylinders.

That was the case for the Lone Grove High School football team Friday night, as the Longhorns galloped out of the gate for a 40-7 victory over Purcell.

“It was a good start for us,” said Longhorns head coach Curtis Cole. “We’re still nowhere near perfect. There are still a lot of things we can correct and get better at. Right now, as a community as a whole, everything our kids have been through, it was really nice to get a win Friday night and keep improving. It was a good start to the season for us.”

And Lone Grove tallied the win with a number of new faces on the field. Most of those athletes played on one side of the ball, but they still made an instant impact.

“There were quite a few guys making their first career start last night for us offensively,” Cole said. “I think there were nine guys on offense making their first varsity start. Those guys did a great job for us. The defense showed up on the first drive, causing a big turnover and getting things rolling for us.”

The Longhorns take the field Friday night before taking the field. Lone Grove cruised to a 40-7 win over Purcell.

Meanwhile, Caden Gilmore helped the Longhorns get rolling offensively after Cole said the junior quarterback brushed off some nerves to start the game. Official stats weren’t available, but Gilmore played an instrumental role in all facets.

“Caden Gilmore is just a great leader for our team,” Cole said. “He gets everybody dialed in, focused and ready to go.”

That paid dividends, too, as it helped lead to Cole’s first win as Lone Grove head coach. However, he was quick to shift the focus away from him.

“That’s my biggest deal — it’s not about me, it’s about the kids,” Cole said. “My playing days are over. All I can do, to the best of my ability, is pass off knowledge and give as much to them as I can. We just go from there and do everything we can to put them in a great situation to go play and have fun.”