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On the road again The Ada High football team hoist their helmets during action earleir this season. The Cougars travel to fifth-ranked Lawton MacArthur for a first-round playoff game Friday night.

Photo courtesy Lisa Laxton

Along with the excitement of playing for third place in the district, the Friday night encounter at Deer Creek also had other motivations for the Ada Cougars. In the main was the desire to avoid the long trip to Lawton.

An Ada comeback came up short, however, sending Ada to Lawton MacArthur and Deer Creek to Ardmore.

It will not be Ada’s first trip to Lawton and Mac. The first was in 1972, the last in 2006, a total of seven meetings.

Mac has a one-game series lead, 4-3.

It opened with a four-game set of home-and away-games, ‘72-76. The youngest of the three Lawton high schools, Mac was only four seasons old.

The school was celebrating the move to a high school only in 1972 when they first met in Lawton. It opened as a junior-senior high in ‘69-70, then became high school only in ‘72-73.

The seven-game series came against three of the six Ada coaches in the post-Elvan George era. In his third year as head coach, Matt Weber becomes the fourth.

Dickie Stephenson’s two-year stand included the ‘72 series opener, a 28-21 Mac win in Week No. 2.

The four-game set ‘72-75, all in the second game of the season, was a wash. Mac not only won the first encounter between the schools, 28-21, but again in ‘73 at Ada, 8-7. The ‘74 Mac win, 21-0 at Lawton, was followed by the first Ada win, the widest victory margin, 38-12 at Ada, in an 8-3 season. Ada and Mac never met again in regular season play. The distance between the schools was a factor, and that also keep them in separate districts.

The return of Craig McBroom in 1973-79 covered four meetings.

In three of the Ada-Mac battles, Mac caught Ada in various stages of 22 state championship runs.

In ‘74 under Craig McBroom the Cougars lost to Mac, 21-0, then marched through a 10-2-2 season to the state title.

Again under Craig McBroom in his last year in 1979, it was a 16-14 Ada win, but an up-and-down, 7-7, season saw the Cougars lose in the finals to Jenks, 17-15.

In ‘96 Gary McBroom’s 13-1 state champs got one of the 13 in the semifinals over Mac, 27-10.

Steve Dean, who also had a four-year stand, 2004-07, saw a good Cougar crew fall 21-17 in 2006 in the quarterfinals at Cameron.

There were no meetings during either of Larry McBroom’s eras, ‘80-95 and ‘00-03.

Ater many years of heavy use, Cameron’s hard-scrabble turf was more like green concrete, but with rips and tears and different worn shades of green.

Cameron University disbanded its football program several years ago, but keeps the stadium up and running with cooperation of city and schools.

Included in that upkeep was new Playturf a few years ago in alternating strips of light and dark green.

All three Lawton Highs play there. They rotate home games on Thursday and Friday. Since the schools play each other, only 12 games are played at the venerable old stadium.

Lawton High is by far the oldest, the school opening in 1902 and graduating the first class of six in 1903.

Little brother Ike was born over half a century later in 1969.

Ike is the largest by less than 100 — 1384 to 1,294 for Lawton. Both are Class 6A schools. Mac is the little brother in 5A with 777.

Ada, in comparison, has 550 or so in the top three grades.

Lawton has crowned only five state champions and none belong to Mac.

The Wolverines fielded champs in ‘62 and ‘63, ‘70 and ‘87.

Ike’s magical season in ‘90 included a USA Today mythical national championship.

Lawton High has long been a power. Ike stuck its head up at times. Mac has challenged at times.

The last two seasons saw the Highlanders run into the Midwest City Carl Albert buzzsaw, 51-0 to the eventual state champs in the first round last year, and 47-14 in the semis in ‘08.

Brett Manning’s crew is 8-2 with lone losses in the Lawton championship series to Lawton and Ike.

The green, black and gold of MacArthur stormed past the other eight opponents pretty much unchallenged.

MacArthur will be favored, just like it was in the last meeting in 2006.

Off a 27-13 drubbing of Tulsa Kelley on the Comets’ home field, Ada went across the state from Tulsa to Lawton for the quarterfinals.

The Highlanders were heavy favorites, but true maroon Ada fans came up with a huge turnout for the game.

Ada took a 10-zip lead to the halftime locker room, but  in the second half Lawton Mac had a mid-quarter score.

The game was going Ada's way until the final two Mac series. Ada had moved to a 17-7 lead with only 10 minutes left in the game.

But drives of 70 and 73 yards would do in the Cougars as Mac QB Austin Giles put on an aerial show.

Thus, 'Add to the Stack', the battle cry that year, was not to be. 

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