A gallant effort by the Altus HIgh School Bulldogs in their game with the Ardmore Tigers came up short here on Friday night. When it was over Altus suffered a heartbreaking 35-34 loss.
Never the less it was the best effort of the season for the Bulldogs.
The first half the Bulldogs put together two of the best drives they have had all season.
The first was a 13 play 76 yard march . It was climaxed by a 15 yard TD run by Taven Birdow.
The second drive covered 60 yards in four plays. Sophomore quarterback Jayden Benway electrified the crowd on the third play of the drive. He carried on the option play and weaved his way 42 yards to give the Bulldogs a first and goal at the six yard line.
On the next play T. J. McGill covered the final six yards for the score.
Unfortunately sandwiched between those touchdowns, was a 82 kickoff return by Ardmore’s Kevion McGee which prevented the Bulldogs from having a bigger lead at halftime.
Altus’ Malcom Lewis recovered an onside kick in Ardmore territory after the Bulldogs second touchdown. However, Altus could not take advantage of that opportunity.
Still it was a good half of football.
A 24 yard run by Ardmore’s O.J. Walker tied the game at 14-14.
But Altus answered with back to back scores on an 18 yard scamper by Birdow and one yard TD run by McGill. That put the Bulldogs up 28-14 late in the third quarter.
Ardmore answered with 21 straight points on three touchdown runs by Kydrick Knox of 4, 30 and 25 yards. That lifted the Tigers to a 35-28 lead.
It wasn’t over yet because Birdow came up with a big play for the Bulldogs. On a beautifully executed trap play, Birdow broke through a big hole and ramble 79 yard touchdown run. The extra point by Gabe Barton was wide and Ardnore led 35-34 wih6:59 remaining in the game.
“Hind sight is 20-20. Gabe hasn’t missed Gabe hasn’t missed extra point maybe all season,” AHS Head Coach Chad Stone said. “I thought about going for two thinking that may be the clincher.”
Altus got the ball back one more time but a block in the back penalty was too much to overcome.
It was a strange game in the special teams as Altus attempted four on side kicks and two of them were successful. One led to a touchdown. Ardmore also covered an on side kick that led to a score.
“We talked about last week, we finished 44 out of 48 minutes,” Stone said. “We felt like there were four minutes we didn’t play well against MacArthur and the rest we did. Tonight it was about 46 1/2 minutes. There was about a minute and a half in the fourth quarter we gave them the momentum back. But our kids played hard tonight.”
Bulldog notes: Birdow rushed for 232 yards and that was good enough to earn him the single season rushing record at Altus High. Defensive back Wavin Yada was ejected from the game in the first half and that didn’t please Stone. “That was absolutely a terrible call and you can put that in the paper,” Stone said. “They said he threw a punch. Wavin pushed but there wasn’t a punch. He will be exonerated by OSSAA and get to play in his final game against Capitol Hill. That changes the hole complexion. He’s the guy that is supposed to cover that on side kick (which Ardmore covered). A couple of runs they broke late, if Wavin was in there that he would make those plays. You hate to blame something on the official because we tell our kids no excuses.”
Altus is 2-7 on the season and will travel to Oklahoma City Capitol Hill on Thursday.
Game In Figures
Passes 2-7 2-6
Fumbles lost 00
Penalties 5-37 7-55
How They Scored
AHS - Taven Birdow 15 run (Gabe Barton kick0 10:21, 2nd qtr. AHS 7-0
Ard - Kevion McGee 82 kickoff return (Ben Gonzalez kick), 10:09, 2nd qtr., 7-7
AHS - T.J. McGill 6 run (Barton kick) 8:28, 2nd qtr., AHS 14-7
Ard - O.J. Walker 24 run (Gonzalez kick) 9:42, 3rd qtr., 14-14
AHS - Birdow 18 run (Barton kick) 2:21, 3rd qtr., AHS 21-14
AHS - McGill 1 run (Barton kick) 1:28, 3rd qtr. AHS 28-14
ARD - Knox 4 run (Gonzale kick) 11:11, 4th qtr. AHS 28-21
ARD - Knox 33 run (Gonzalez kick) 10:18, 4th qtr., 28-28
ARD - Knox 25 run (Gonzalez kick) 7:58, 4th qtr. ARD 35-28
AHS - Birdow 79 run (kick failed) 6:59, 4th qtr., ARD,35-34
Benway 7-51; Birdow 26-232 3TDa; McGill 14-61 2TDsl Perez 1-1l Lewis 1-2
Benway 2-7 23 1NT
Barton 4-5 PATs
Hall 8-28l Walker 9-86 1TD; Knox 12-73 3TDs; Lopez 7-41; Roberts 3-7; Mills 1-(-1)
Hall 1-4 8; Walker 1-2-20
Gonzalez 5-5 PATs