NORMAN — Of course, given the recent history of the Crosstown Clash, it was going to come down to a shootout.
A season after the Norman High and Norman North boys decided two meetings on penalty kicks, this year’s regular season tilt turned out the same way. The Timberwolves converted on four of six shots to edge the Tigers and take home the latest edition of the Clash on a chilly, unusually windy night at the University of Oklahoma’s John Crain Field.
“I don’t think that Coach D (Norman High Coach Gordon Drummond) or I like to win it that way,” admitted North coach Geo Claros.
The rivals went back and forth much of the night, punching and counterpunching, attacking and counterattacking, producing good scoring chances but unable to find the back of the nets.
In the end, a gusty north wind and two defenses and goalkeepers that made things happen at the right times sent the teams to yet another shootout.
Last year, the teams played a regular-season game with no official shots on goal before a shootout the Tigers won. In the playoffs, regulation and overtime again couldn’t decide things and the teams went through a nail-biting 24-player shootout before the Timberwolves claimed victory.
On this night, the teams played a scoreless contest with an entirely different feel.
The chances came both ways. About nine minutes in, the Tigers’ Zac Terry looped a free kick over North keeper Alex Precilla but found the top of the crossbar.
Just a few minutes later, North’s Marco Cichero saw a free kick sail high, and a few minutes after that the T-Wolves’ Jacob Jerles also was too high after a nifty feed in front of the goal. And just minutes later it was Cichero being robbed on a header by Tiger keeper Austin Earley.