From start to finish, Gainesville dominated the border war.
Even without star receiver David Moore, the Leopards rolled up 275 yards rushing and a bevy of yards after contact to defeat Ardmore 27-8 on Friday at Noble Stadium.
After a scoreless first quarter, the Leopards (3-0) scored 20 points in the second quarter to effectively put the game away before halftime. Senior running back Johnathan Mendez finished with a game-high 124 yards on just six carries, including touchdowns of 13 and 80 yards in the second to put
Gainesville ahead by two scores.
Quarterback Denzel Johnson had 127 all-purpose yards, and scored the Leopards' third touchdown on a 13-yard run 21 seconds before halftime.
Johnson was able to open up the running game with his arm, tossing for 92 yards.
Danny Nipp stepped up in Moore's absence to catch three passes for 55 yards.
"I was real pleased," Gainesville coach Keith Hall said. "We wanted to make sure we could throw the ball and spread it around. Our quarterback is awful talented and he can make some things happen."
Gainesville overcame 12 penalties for 81 yards with a stout defense, paced by senior lineman De¹Quan Wilford. The Leopards held Ardmore to 3-of-12 on third-down conversions.
"One thing we have played consistently all year is real good defense," Hall said.
Adam Berryman added 71 yards on 19 carries and a score on a 7-yard TD run with 3:11 remaining in the fourth quarter.
Ardmore's lone score came on a 1-yard run by Andrew Clark with 3 seconds left in the final period.
Jeff Surrell paced Ardmore with 120 yards rushing on 17 carries.
Ardmore, a Class 5A school in Oklahoma, closed out its non-district schedule with a 1-2
The Leopards will play at Springtown in Week 3