The Norman Transcript

October 11, 2012

Weekend could shift expectations


The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — Oklahoma meets Texas on Saturday, and the Sooners winning inside the Cotton Bowl would appear to open all kinds of opportunities.

Indeed, it might usher in a whole new way of looking at them this season, a way that appeared impossible less than a week ago.

They’d have to keep getting better, of course. Bob Stoops and staff would have to continue putting them in a position to be successful. But it could happen, and who knows where it might lead?

Oh, the possibilities.

Yet, while that might be the narrative for the football team that plays its games at Lindsey and Jenkins, it can also become the narrative for the two football teams that play their games between Pickard and Berry, between Main and Kansas, at least when they’re at home, at Harve Collins Field.

Norman North is there tonight, and the opponent, Edmond North, is the only team in the western half of the state still unbeaten. Many thought this year’s best-in-the-west honor would go to Edmond Santa Fe, especially once Midwest City began to flounder, but the Huskies beat the Wolves 26-13 Sept. 14 and have only kept winning since.

In the Transcript’s Class 6A rankings, Edmond North is No. 3 and Norman North would be No. 11 if the poll went one spot deeper.

Though there may be nobody left in town Friday night to accompany Norman High on its visit to Moore Stadium, where Southmoore will be waiting, the Tigers face a similar challenge and opportunity.

Though they lost opening night at the Crosstown Clash, the Tigers haven’t lost since. In their last four games, against Yukon, Mustang, Edmond Memorial and Choctaw, they’ve put up 179 points.

But now they have the SaberCats on the other side of the field, who have also lost only once (to Edmond Santa Fe the week after the Wolves were upset by the Huskies), who put themselves in the best-in-the-west sweepstakes only last week by taking down then-unbeaten Lawton, even at lost-in-time Cameron Stadium.

NHS is No. 8 in the Transcript’s Class 6A rankings. Southmoore is No. 6.

Don’t go looking for Norman North coach Wade Standley to wade in too deep with any pregame quote.

“This week is a great opportunity for us to take that next step,” he said. “Each week you have to continue to move forward, and we’ve been able to do that the last two years.”

He’s not wrong and the T-Wolves should be excited, but lost in there is the fact that tonight could represent more than just another step.

The Huskies have earned their spot right behind Jenks and Union. Everybody thought they’d be good, but they’ve exceeded expectations. North has been good, too, but this town’s been waiting on high school football greatness for a while now, and tonight’s a great chance for the T-Wolves to go from good to something better.

Not to mention, win tonight and they’re going to have a hard time not winning District 6A-3 with Putnam City North, Moore and Lawton Ike left on the schedule.

If North is going to take another big step, tonight’s the night to do it.

Over at Norman High, the Tigers may be playing with house money.

On Tuesday, coach Greg Nation admitted his team is playing beyond its very own preseason expectations.

“I think our kids are so attentive and so focused and locked in to their teaching,” he said, “that they go out and do an excellent job.”

Nation’s having a heck of a time, in a good way, getting his squad ready every week.

“We’re having a great year of kids staying eligible,” he said. “We’re getting along well. This is a fun team to coach.”

Friday, though, is a chance to take it further. If the best team in the west isn’t Edmond North, Southmoore may have the next claim. Well, unless they fall to the Tigers, who might make the claim their own … at least until they visit Edmond Santa Fe next week.

“Murderer’s row,” Nation said.

Yes, but the opportunity is fantastic. Tonight at home. Friday night in Moore.

Check it out.

Clay HorningFollow me @clayhorningcfhorning@normantranscript.com

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