“Sickening,” was the emotion Teel recalled. “We should have been down there on the field, not them. Especially on our field. And not Durant.”
The Cougars had two chances to derail the Lions. In regular-season play at Norris Field, in the third game Ada fully expected to top the Lions — they always did. Ada was 0-2, yet at least in the back of their minds, a win over Durant was expected. After all, it was not that long since the 32-game win streak had ended.
“I suspect that had something to do with it. Hey, we were 16-year-old kids, what did we know about it? And we were playing bigger schools, and that accounted in part for our early record (1-6),” recalled local insurance man Jay Horne, a lineman on that Ada team.
Durant prevailed, 14-3, in a hard-scrabble, evenly fought game.
A Lion who played that year, Brian Wood, looked back on the Durant championship season.
Legendary coach Gib Dolezal had taken the reins the year before. Several seniors left the team, turning the jobs over to juniors and sophs. The result was a pounding in 1982 but a battle-hardened bunch with high hopes for 1983, said Wood, a 5-8 by 200-pound "slowish" fullback who started all three years.
“We were excited, confident going into the season,” Wood recalled.
Ada scrambled to a 6-6 season and made the playoffs. Three rounds into the playoffs, the opponent was none other than Durant at none other than Norris Field.
Again the Cougars fought mightily, but it was just Durant’s year, 14-7.
To Horne’s memory, the big play was a student-body right sweep with Horne, Keith Nail, Roger Laxton and Jimmy Carter leading running back Scottie Worrell.
“We told Scottie that if he would start right, then cut back left around the other end, he would get good yardage,” Horne said.