Ardmore football overcomes penalties to take down Shawnee at home

Beau Bearden
The Daily Ardmoreite
Tigers senior Jackson Hedger hauls in a touchdown against the outstretched hand of a defender. Hedger finished with two scores Friday night.

When a squad wins a game by multiple touchdowns, most would see it as a good day at the office. That isn’t always the case though.

The Ardmore High School football team will be the first to tell you that, as numerous miscues highlighted a 42-14 win over Shawnee. But Tigers quarterback Cal Swanson knows he and his teammates have what it takes to move forward and make improvements.   

“What makes this group is we have a lot of people that want to work and get better every day,” Swanson said. “We’re going to take this game as a lesson. We’re going to learn from it and get better from it.”

Ardmore did make some improvements in the second half, but penalties were still scattered throughout the entire game. The Tigers picked up the pace though, as they not only tallied 21 straight points at one point, but finished the game by outscoring Shawnee by a 28-7 margin.

Swanson played a factor in three of those touchdowns, as he found Jackson Hedger and Dakaree Scott on a pair of strikes that were about a minute apart in the third quarter.

The junior then put the nail in the coffin on a 22-yard scamper with 9:36 left in the game.

“Cal has progressed a ton,” said Ardmore head coach Josh Newby. “He’s running our offense at a high level. He’s a special player and we’re glad he’s on our team.”

However, Swanson’s big night was slightly overshadowed by Tigers senior Antone Scallion suffering an injury. He was hurt during a two-yard touchdown run with 5:13 remaining in the second quarter and didn’t get many carries after that.  

“When Antone goes down and we can still move the ball and throw the ball, it’s nice to have Cal and those other weapons,” Newby said. “We had to utilize that tonight. But we have to play cleaner to beat the opponents that we want to beat.”

Ardmore looks to do that at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 17 with a trip to Ponca City, a Class 6A team.

“It’s hard to win football games in 5A,” Newby said. “That’s what we told the kids, ‘Don’t take winning for granted. I’m proud of you, but in the end, we have to clean things up to beat the people we want to beat.’”