Football may be just what the doctor ordered for the Ada Cougars this week.

Just over 24 hours after the team suffered a 43-point loss in Coweta, three Ada High players (along with two members of the freshmen squad) were injured in an automobile accident.

Head coach Matt Weber said just returning to a normal routine has been a chore.

“Obviously our minds haven’t been completely on football. Our kids have shown a great deal of maturity coming out and practicing this week,” he said. “We understand we represent our teammates who can’t be with us and want to do them proud with our effort.”

The team met as usual on Monday, but didn’t practice.

“We had position meetings and lifted our kids then let them go home early,” Weber said. “Tuesday and Wednesday we had practices that included both offense, defense and two phases of the kicking game.”

The Cougars will have a normal practice session this afternoon with the Tulsa Central Braves coming to town Friday night. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at Norris Field.

Both teams enter the game with identical 3-2 marks.

Weber said last week at Coweta, the homestanding Tigers simply outperformed the Cougars.

“We are not going to make excuses for what happened at Coweta. They just did what they wanted in all three phases of the game. Coweta is a very good physical football team,” he said. “We lost as a complete football team and we will get it fixed as a complete football team.”

The Cougars had three turnovers in the loss to the Tigers and Coweta held a huge 560-270 edge in total offense.

Weber said his team must — and he fully expects it to — provide a better effort this week against a dangerous Tulsa Central foe.

“We are concentrating on trying to get the Ada Cougars better. Our goals as a football team still haven’t changed. We just need to work to get things fixed and work to become better,” he said.

When describing the Braves, Weber sounded like a broken record.

“Tulsa Central is a good football team. They were undefeated coming into district play. They are enormous like all our competition. They have a very good quarterback like all our competition,” he said.

Quarterback Demarco Cobbs enters the game 26-of-57 for 344 yards through the air and 375 more rushing yards and eight TDs.

Weber said the Braves have simply followed a number of other teams’ lead on offense.

“People are going to the spread these days to put their best athlete at quarterback. Central is no different. They are 50-50 run-pass,” he said.

Running Back Alvin Everett is the team’s leading rusher with 61 carries for 637 yards and eight touchdowns. Victor Bell is the team’s top receiver with nine grabs for 215 yards

Weber said the Braves run a 4-4 defense similar to that of Ardmore and Durant.

Safety Gerard Anderson had a team-leading 38 tackles for Tulsa Central while linebacker Deion Fipps has 26 stops. Lineman Gabe Ball had three sacks while Patrick Wallace has nabbed a team-best four interceptions.

Senior defensive tackle Robert Quarterman was the only Ada starter injured in last weekend’s wreck and 6-3 sophomore Randy Armstrong has been penciled in at that spot.

“We will have to rely on some other kids to fill in for their teammates,” Weber said. “Our football team has complete confidence in whoever is in the game.”

A tale of two losses

Ada holds an overall 13-2-0 advantage in the all-time series against Tulsa Central. Both of Ada’s losses to the Braves were significant.

Tulsa Central defeated Ada 21-17 in 1997, snapping an impressive, 10-year, 69-game Ada district winning streak. Brian Odom, Ada’s all-time leading rusher with 5,917 yards, was a sophomore tailback on that squad. Ada couldn’t its passing game going at the time despite a junior wide receiver named Jeremy Shockey.

One has to go all the way back to 1944 to find Tulsa Central’s other victory in the series. That win came on the first year there was actually a playoff system, in the first round of such system. The Cougars had rolled to a perfect 10-0 regular season record that year and had been tested only once in an 8-6 win over Ardmore. Tulsa Central then defeated Ada on the Cougars own home field by a 12-6 count.

It just so happens there is a connection between the two games. In 1944, Ada’s quarterback was All-Stater Jack Fentem, the grandfather of 1997 Cougar Mikey Babb, who spend a lot of time as a blocking back for Odom.