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Shawnee Opens At Home With Familiar Foe

 

September 10, 2020

Shawnee (0-1) will attempt to rebound from their week zero, season-opening, 34-16 loss to Guthrie tomorrow night by hosting an old rival, the Ardmore Tigers (1-0), themselves season-opening winners over Ada, 21-0 last Friday night. 

Wolves' fans have gotten to know the southern Oklahoma Class 5A powerhouse over the years, beginning with the 2003 win in the semifinals played at Memorial Stadium on the University of Oklahoma campus. The Wolves prevailed 23-16 that evening, a week before winning their second state championship since the undefeated and untied 1973 squad. 

Since then, the teams have mostly split wins between each other, though the Tigers won the last meeting 41-35 in the 2014 playoffs. 

Shawnee head coach Jason Sexton certainly respects the potential the Tigers will bring into Jim Thorpe Stadium: "After watching them beat Ada, it was obvious that they are a really good football team," he said. "Perhaps the extra week of preparation will benefit the Wolves."

Sexton addressed the open week after the Guthrie game, saying, "Practices since Guthrie have been pretty intense at times since we were able to do more tackling and conditioning since we didn't have a game."

After scouting the Tigers, Sexton discussed their strengths: "They have three good backs who rotate to keep them fresh. One of the backs is probably 220 and a load to tackle while the other two have a lot of speed. The line is good-sized and they get after it and play hard all game. The quarterback is a dual threat guy and the receivers were behind Ada's secondary all night. They will be quite a challenge, but we are excited to test our unit after two weeks of getting better in practice."

Sexton described their offense as being versatile. Ardmore will operate out of double tight ends sets as well as spread sets with no tight ends. Their passing game will include short, quick hitch routes and then deep fades, while also utilizing a moving pocket to increase time for the quarterback to either locate open receivers or to scramble for yardage.

While the defense seems to have their hands full, the offense, likewise, will be no walk in the park: "Their defense is fast and flies to the ball. They are a good unit as well with a monster of a nose guard who made a lot of plays against Ada."

The game looks to be exciting in all three phases, and Coach Sexton was quick to praise Ardmore's special teams play: "Their special teams include dangerous returners and good kick coverage. They have a kicker with a big leg as they attempted a 44-yard field goal. This will be a good test of our development over the past two weeks versus a very good football team."

Ardmore at Shawnee should be another good one. Kickoff is set for 7 pm.

 

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