Ardmore football flies past Altus to improve to 5-0 this season
It was only fitting that the Ardmore High School football team showed off its speed and agility on a Friday night where many of the same Tigers were honored for winning a state track and field title.
Cal Swanson was one of those athletes and the junior put on a show by not only passing for three touchdowns, but also rushing for a score in Ardmore’s 61-0 shutout of Altus.
“We’re just really dynamic,” Swanson said. “We can run it. We can pass it. We have a lot of dudes on the outside. We just got our rings tonight from winning state in track. We have a lot of speed, and we just use it.”
Swanson proved that in the second half when he broke away from the defense, turned on the jets and scampered 50 yards for a touchdown that put the nail in the coffin.
“Cal can throw the ball as well as anybody in the country, in my opinion,” said Tigers head coach Josh Newby. “And I don’t think people realize how fast he is — he’s on the state (champion) track team’s mile relay for a reason. He displayed it tonight on that long run.”
However, Swanson isn’t the only speedster on the roster. Ardmore also has plenty of other Tigers who are dangerous when they get in the open space.
“We had Ricky Smith and Evan Smith on the 4x200 relay last year,” Swanson said. “They’re really fast guys. We took first place in the 4x200, so it transfers over. Jalen Reed and I run the 4x400 relay and we just have a bunch of fast people.”
Evan Smith displayed that quickness on a pair of rushing touchdowns, while Swanson found Reed on a 28-yard passing score in the second quarter.
“We had a great week of practice and every day this week we really executed at a high level,” Swanson said. “We came out tonight and we just executed at a high level.”
The Tigers proved that with an all-around dominant performance. Ardmore finished the night with six rushing touchdowns, as Evan Smith and Antone Scallion notched two apiece and Swanson and CJ Williams each tallied one.
Swanson also demonstrated his accuracy through the air, completing 10-of-15 passes for 183 yards and three touchdowns. Dakaree Scott was his favorite target with five catches for 80 yards and a score. Reed and Jackson Hedger also hauled in touchdowns.
However, as is the case for many teams at this point in the season, there are still areas of improvement. Ardmore struggled with miscues early in the first quarter that could have caused problems in a closer game.
“I’m very happy with the win,” Newby said. “We executed well at times, but I still think we have to clean up our penalties. We had too many penalties early. In big ball games like next week against Duncan during a Homecoming game, we can’t have that kind of stuff. But in the end, I’m happy with our kids and the way they’re trying to play. But we have to eliminate some penalties.”