Highlanders Suffer First District Loss Against Ardmore
It was a warm evening October night to play football for the start of fall break in Ardmore which featured two undefeated teams both at 6-0 and a fight for the lead for a possible district championship.It was also the second best featured game in the state as high expectations ran high on both sides of a crowded Noble stadium with MacArthur and Ardmore both ranked in the top 5 in 5-A.
It was also the Highlanders second look at a flex bone offence in two weeks. Ardmore won the toss and took the ball to start the game and the Highlander defense arose to the occasion and forced the Tigers to punt on a stalled out drive.
Big Mac's offences took the Tiger punt and with a couple of plays found themselves right outside the 9 yard line but was stopped after 3 run plays and a "going for it" on a 4th and 1 on the 4 and the boys from up on the Hill came up empty.
Ardmore took advantage of the time of possession and the turn over departments 4 all together and 3 in the 3 quarter for the night for Big Mac and Ardmore then jumped out on a 14-0 lead.
Big Mac did not panic and with big strike capabilities found once again Lorenzo West from quarterback Will Collins and just like that the Highlanders were back in it with another touchdown from Davon Finkley up the middle and a potential tie ball game.
The Tigers jumped off side on the PAT and the Highlanders took the penalty and Will Collins took the keeper and a 1 yard 2 point conversion to give the Highlanders their first and only lead of the ball game 15-14.
Ardmore controlled the end of the second quarter and a 21-15 half time lead. Added another score late in the 4th after another gutsy go for it on your own 37 yard line to get a 6 yard first down pass strike over the middle but on the next carry from running back Davon Finkley. To extend the drive was stripped of the ball after forward progress and a mob of defenders on his back and a very unfortunate late turn over at the 50 and a march down the field with a short field for Ardmore and a 27-15 lead.
All seemed to be out of reach for Big Mac until a late rally and a quick touchdown again to Lorenzo West in the corner of the end zone and a 27-22 ball game. With less than 2 minutes on the clock the onside kick from kicker Jimi Denning was unsuccessful, but the Big Mac defense again was called upon and a 3 and out by Mac forced them to punt and a silenced Ardmore crowd giving the ball back over to the Highlanders with just 50 seconds remaining on the clock.
The night of executing one more big play was unsuccessful this time and the Highlanders came up short with a interception with just 6 seconds to go and a Ardmore victory. Big Mac suffered its first defeat of the season and fall to 6-1 and 3-1 in District with 3 games left in the regular season.
It was a tough contested battle and Big Mac did not make the plays when necessary. Football boils down to execution and the Highlanders were unable to do so that night. But by no means is the end of the story or the season with 3 weeks before playoffs the boys from up on the Hill will find a way to "Rise Up" and respond like we have seen before and feature a renewed outlook and mission to finish out the season with the Gold Ball.
Next up for the Highlanders is a road trip to Chickasha to take on the "Fighting Chicks." Get ready for the return of the KFC buckets from the student section this week.
Jay and I will bring you all the play by play and don't forget to join us Tuesday night at El Chico in the mall for the Brett Manning coaches show. We will talk and recap this game and look forward to this week with another road test. We will see you then.