Ada-Ardmore matchup will be even bigger Friday night

Aug. 31—In a game that has been circled on the calendar by fans of both teams, the Ada Cougars and Ardmore Tigers will meet for the 100th time in the storied rivalry Friday night at Norris Field.

Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

Ada leads the all-time series by the slimmest of margins — 49-48-2.

It is sure to be a hoopla-filled night inside Koi Ishto Stadium.

"It's a unique rivalry. It's one of the biggest rivalries in the state and then you add the 100th meeting and it makes it even more special. I'm really excited about it," said Ada head coach Brad O'Steen. "There's a lot of extra festivities going on because it's the 100th meeting.

There was a blood drive, special T-shirts were made by Mercy Hospital — heck Chickasaw Nation Governor Bill Anoatubby is even going to be involved in the official coin toss.

O'Steen said he also has a lot of respect for Ardmore head coach Josh Newby.

"I really like this rivalry because coach Newby at Ardmore does a great job. He's a class act guy," he said.

There will be football played, too.

Ada is coming off a mistake-filled 14-7 win at Durant and the Tigers got clubbed by Lawton Eisenhower 59-7 in a Zero Week matchup. O'Steen expects both teams to play better this week, especially the Cougars.

"I sure hope so. Durant was a much-improved team. Their guys up front are big and physical. I was very impressed with those guys but at the same time we made them look better than they were," he said.

Ada committed four turnovers and had nearly 100 yards worth of penalties in the opener.

"If you turn the ball over three or more times, your chance of winning goes way, way down. Taking care of the football is No. 1 on our list this week," O'Steen said. "Early on our defense is going to keep us in ballgames and we can't keep putting them in bad situations."

Ardmore will bring an option attack to Ada this weekend and should be another good test for the Cougars' defensive unit that played well for the most part against Durant.

"They're big. They went back to the option game they ran a few years ago. Skill-wise they're fairly young," O'Steen said.

Athletic freshman K'Drien Miller is the starting quarterback for the Tigers. Ardmore's top two running backs are freshman Tyson Laster and sophomore Antonio Taylor.

"They're coming off of a tough loss. But it's a typical Ardmore team. They just don't have the seasoned skill guys they usually have. They're still big and athletic, they're just playing a lot of young guys," O'Steen said.

O'Steen said Ardmore lines up in a 4-4 defensive scheme and runs a lot of cover 3.

"Defensively, they're also big up front," he said.

The Ardmore defensive line is led by the senior trio of Chase Stewart (6-1, 310), Derek Meely (6-1, 240) and Xavier Jones (6-0, 255).

Ada defeated Ardmore 35-18 in a Week 1 road game last year.

Do a jobO'Steen mentioned the word "consistency" over and over when talking about the Cougars' preparation for Ardmore this week.

"It's all about consistency offensively. We've talked this week about just executing and going out and doing our job. That's kind of been the big focus this week in practice. We've got to do a better job of doing our job," he said.

O'Steen said with all the things that were going against Ada last week in Durant, it was a testament to his guys that they came out on the right end of the scoreboard in a game that ended at 11:43 p.m. due to the power outage.

"We were able to handle the adversity — fight through the heat and the long delay," he said.

Durant had a first-and-goal situation when the lights went out. When play resumed, Ada kept the Lions out of the end zone. O'Steen said that turn of events provided the Cougars with some momentum.

"We put ourselves in a bad situation early on and then get a big goal-line stand coming out of the break. I really liked our sense of urgency to get back out there and play," he said.

Fisher was everywhereAda senior linebacker Fisher Marr registered 15 tackles and had a quarterback sack on defense against the Lions. He scored on a 2-yard touchdown run while operating out of the Wildcat formation on offense and was on the field for a number of special team plays.

"Fisher played a phenomenal game on both sides of the football. That guy is just a football player," O'Steen said. "He left it all out on the field. He's involved in all three phases of the game, and plays as hard as he can every snap. Hopefully, some of our other guys can feed off that."


This and that: Ada junior running back Chauncy Conway will likely miss several weeks after suffering a hamstring injury against Durant. Other Cougars were banged up but aren't expected to miss any game time. ... The annual Cougann Hamburger Fry is scheduled for 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on the Kerr Activities Center lawn. The cost is $10 per ticket and includes a burger, chips, cookie and drink. ... Fans can avoid standing in line by purchasing advance tickets to the Ada-Ardmore game at the Ada Board of Education Office or by visiting Dorcas Sandy in the maintenance office on the high school campus located across from the Cougar Activity Center. For more information, phone (580) 310-7245.