By Jonathan Deal
It was a historic night in Ardmore Friday, but for all the wrong reasons for the home team. D.A.R. shut out the Tigers 24-0 to clinch the school’s first-ever playoff appearance.
Ardmore entered the game with a chance to earn a playoff spot for the first time since 2006, but walked a way wandering what could have been. The Patriots used the same recipe that had worked so well for Ardmore throughout the season, using a power-running game and a stingy run defense.
The visitors racked up 338 yards on the ground and limited Ardmore to 95 yards rushing. DAR controlled the clock and did not throw a pass the entire game.
After Ardmore forced a fumble inside their own 10-yard line to end D.A.R.’s first drive, the visitors scored on their next two possessions to take a 10-0 lead into halftime.
The second-half was more of the same as D.A.R. scored on its first two possessions of the third quarter to take a commanding 24-0 lead and essentially put the game out of reach.
After fullback Mathew Fountain powered his way in from 5-yards out, Ardmore quarterback Garret Miller threw an interception near midfield two plays later. D.A.R. took full advantage when Tony Pace scored five plays later on a 24-yard scamper.
Ardmore quickly drove down the field on its next possession, but turned it over again when Tyler McCarley’s halfback pass was picked off at the D.A.R. 10-yard line.
Ardmore threw three interceptions on the night and leading rusher Tyler McCarley was held to 51 total yards. Pace led the Patriots with 138 yards and a touchdown.
D.A.R. (4-5) will travel to Brooks (7-2) for a first round playoff game in two weeks. Ardmore (5-4) will travel to West Limestone (4-5) for its final game of the season next week.
-Darrell Colvett contributed to this report