By Corbin Hosler
The Norman Transcript
NORMAN — There may not have been anything on the line for Norman North on Friday night, but the Timberwolves played like they had everything to lose. The result was a resounding 49-32 victory over Lawton Eisenhower to win the District 6A-3 title with style.
The district championship was decided when Putnam City North lost to Yukon late Thursday night, giving the Timberwolves the title even if they were to lose to Lawton Eisenhower. But that’s not the mindset the Timberwolves brought to the game.
“Yeah, technically we were district champs before this game, but we came in with the mindset we needed to win and take care of our business,” senior Payton Prince said.
The Timberwolves certainly did that. North jumped on top early, with John Kolar hooking up early and often with wide receiver Nick Basquine, who kicked off the scoring with a beautiful 19-yard touchdown grab to put the Timberwolves on the board. Tyler Sipe then intercepted a pass in T-Wolves’ territory and returned it 65 yards for a score. He later accomplished the rare feat of scoring on both offense and defense when he pulled in a three-yard touchdown pass late in the game.
Despite the win and their second straight district title, things weren’t perfect for the Timberwolves (7-3, 6-1) on Friday. They again struggled with turnovers, losing three fumbles and throwing an interception. That allowed Lawton Eisenhower (4-6, 3-4) to get back in the game. The Eagles scored twice to cut the lead to seven, and pulled within four points after they took advantage of another North turnover to kick a field goal as time expired at the half.
But North responded after halftime. The Timberwolves got a key defensive stop on the first possession of the third quarter and took control from there, with running back Quan Hogan leading the way. The sophomore finished with 103 yards on 18 carries and added two touchdowns on the ground. But it was his play on special teams that turned the game in the third quarter.
With a punt dribbling in front of him near the Timberwolves’ 40-yard line, Hogan made a risky grab, controlling the ball and quickly broke past the first line of defenders. He weaved his way down the field en route to a 64-yard touchdown return that put North on top 35-17.
That was enough to break the Eagles, who never got within two possessions again. Kolar had 213 passing yards and added 66 on the ground to go along with his three touchdowns, while Basquine tallied 134 yards on eight catches.
Next up for North is Mustang in the first round of the playoffs. The date of the game isn’t set, though it will likely be on either Thursday or Friday. With the district title under their belts, the Timberwolves own the right to host the first two rounds of the playoffs.
“We’ve just got to keep getting better every week like we have been,” Kolar said. “We’re ready.”
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