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Ada Defeats Nathan Hale
11/06/19 -

TULSA — The Ada High School football team tried out a new-look offense during a Week 9 road game against Nathan Hale, and it looked pretty good.

With quarterback Manny LaValley taking snaps from under center, the Cougars used a power rushing attack Friday and blasted the Rangers 42-6 before fans who braved the cool weather at East Side Sports Complex.

Ada kept its playoffs hopes alive, evening its record at 4-4 overall and 3-2 in District 5A-3 play. Nathan Hale fell to 2-7 overall and 0-6 in the district. The Rangers have lost seven straight games after a 2-0 start.

With a performance that would have made former Ada standout running backs and uncles Brian Odom and Barry Odom proud, Bo Odom was the featured tailback for the AHS offense, and he also looked good doing it. Bo Odom rushed 13 times for 101 yards and a touchdown.

“We just wanted to go to a smash-mouth football and control it from the start,” Bo Odom said following the game. “It felt good to lead my guys out there and do what I can to help the offense. The (offensive line) did a great job tonight.”

The Ada offense piled up 273 rushing yards against Hale. The Cougars piled up 217 yards on the way to a commanding 35-0 halftime lead.

The two teams agreed to use a running clock the entire second half, due to the lopsided score.

“We’re hoping this is something we can carry into next week. We have, to be honest with you, to find our niche and consistency on the offensive side of the football. So we wanted to get foot to foot and go pound them and see if we could sustain blocks — get two or three yards before first contact and maybe roll that into four or five and occasionally bust one off,” Ada head coach Chris Berus said.

Ada ends the regular season this coming Friday by hosting No. 4 Tulsa Edison, which demolished Durant 49-7 in Week 9. It will be Senior Night at Norris Field.

“I’m very proud of our kids and their execution of the game plan this week, with it being something unique. We’re looking forward to another great week of preparation rolling into our game with the district champs, Tulsa Edison, and to put ourselves in a position to where we can maybe go earn a playoff spot,” Berus said.

Bo Odom has been primarily used as a receiver for Ada this season and has a team-best 13 catches for 264 yards and four touchdowns. Heading into the Week 9 contest, he had 20 carries for 107 yards from jet sweeps and taking direct snaps from the Wildcat formation. The Ada coaching staff decided to give him more touches this week against Nathan Hale, and it paid dividends.

“You have to get the ball in the hands of your guys. If we’ve had one consistency all year, it’s been No. 6. So we put him back there and let him tote the rock a little bit and let him do his thing. You don’t have to throw it to get it to him,” Berus said.

“Obviously, he’s a defensive starter too, so we rotated (Tyler) Peters in there a little bit and he ran it extremely well. We have some other guys back there that can do it too,” he said.

Peters got in on the fun on Ada’s third possession — the Cougar had five drives in the first half and scored after every one — crashing into the end zone from 2 yards out to make it 21-0 at the 11:52 mark of the second quarter. He gained 28 yards on his first carry of the night and had another long run called back by a Nathan Hale penalty. Peters, who also starts at linebacker, ended with just three carries for 36 yards.

Kohner Gallagher, lined up as fullback most of the time, had eight totes for 27 yards. He scored on a 1-yard TD run late in the first quarter and a 5-yard scoring rumble at the 5:37 mark that put Ada ahead 28-0.

Odom scored Ada’s first touchdown on a 13-yard burst at the 7:19 mark of the opening period.

The Cougars turned to senior running back Cameron Nichols in the second half, and he also had success in the new offense. He finished with nine carries for 57 yards and a nice 24-yard TD run that pushed the Ada advantage to 42-0 with 7:16 to play in the third quarter.

LaValley ended the first-half scoring with a 17-yard keeper for a touchdown that gave the Cougars their 35-0 halftime lead. LaValley had eight carries for 42 yards and also completed 2-of-4 passes for 25 yards. Ada’s receptions came from Jesse Campbell (1-14) and Brogen Cochran (1-11).

The Ada defense continued its strong play as well. The Cougars didn’t allow a score until Kellen Watkins found his way into the end zone with an 11-yard run with 5:06 to play. After that TD, Ada’s Caleb Wills intercepted the two-point try.

Ada limited the Rangers to 65 yards of total offense. Peters and Esaie Beam had fumble recoveries for Ada, and Dominick Lowry picked off a Nathan Hale pass.

Berus hopes the same formula leads to success against Tulsa Edison in the big Week 10 matchup.

“It’s going to come down to how well we can move people up front. We have a big test Friday, but I’m excited about what’s in store because of what we saw tonight,” he said.

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