A week after forcing three turnovers against Putnam City West, the eighth-ranked Tigers (8-2) did even better in an impressive 26-21 win over Lawton, intercepting quarterback Dallas Sealey once and recovering three Wolverine fumbles. The Tigers kept control of the game in the second half with timely turnovers, and sealed the game by recovering a muffed punt with a minute left on the clock.
“We made some big plays to finish the game,” Nation said. “We’ve gotten better at being active on defense and gang-tackling on plays.”
Penalties a concern? One bit of negative news out of Friday’s win is that NHS accumulated 11 penalties in the victory, totaling 101 yards.
Worse for the Tigers is that four of the penalties came on holding calls, one of which wiped out a 75-yard touchdown run by quarterback Zach Long. The 11 penalties were near a season-high for the Tigers and something coaches will work on cleaning up before next week’s playoff opener.
“That’s uncommon for us to have that many penalties,” Nation said. “There were some that I didn’t agree with; but the refs make the call and you have to go with what they say. We’ll look at the film and see what we can do to fix it.”
North draws tough road: Fourth-ranked Norman North (9-1) did everything it could during the regular season, going undefeated in District 6A-3 to win the title. The Timberwolves closed the regular season on a seven-game winning streak.
Their reward? A first-round game against Southmoore and a possible second-round game against Broken Arrow.
Southmoore (7-3), which until a few weeks ago was in the running for “best team in the west,” finished fourth in District 6A-4 due to tiebreaks. Two of the three losses have come to Top-10 teams in Norman High and Edmond Santa Fe, and the SaberCats own big wins over Westmoore and Lawton.