By Corbin Hosler
The Norman Transcript
NORMAN — Fourteen seconds.
That’s all the time it took for Imond Robinson to put Norman High on top of Yukon in Thursday’s opening-round playoff game. And it was a sign of things to come, as the Tigers made big play after big play to bury the Millers en route to a 38-13 victory.
The win was the first postseason win in 10 years for NHS, and it came in convincing fashion. Beginning with Robinson’s huge run to start the game, the Tigers controlled the line of scrimmage on offense and had far too much speed for the Millers to compete with. That led to numerous big runs for the Tigers’ backfield and allowed NHS to jump out to a 17-0 halftime lead.
Yukon looked like it might get back in the game early in the second half, going on a touchdown drive to pull within 10, but NHS scored on three consecutive drives to put the game out of reach.
It was a monumental win for the program. In the first home playoff game since coach Greg Nation took over the program five years ago, the Tigers also picked up their first playoff victory in a decade.
“It’s a big deal, but I want people to understand this is going to become a habit,” Nation said. “We’re not going to be satisfied with just playing the regular season and then making the playoffs. This group of kids never gets satisfied.”
The heroes were plentiful for NHS on Friday night, but Robinson stood atop the list. The back rushed for 234 yards and a touchdown on the back of several big runs, including the opening score that set the tone for the rest of the game.
And he wasn’t the only Tiger to break a big play. Quarterback Zach Long broke several long runs and was able to find wideout Jakcob Dean on two deep balls that went for scores. In all, NHS had nine plays go for at least 20 yards and amassed 521 total yards.
“We were able to find and exploit some of their weaknesses that we saw on film,” Nation said. “You’ve got to give it up to the offensive line. Those guys did a great job tonight opening up the holes.”
And while the Tiger offense flourished, the defense picked up right where it left off in the last meeting between these two squads, back in September. After shutting out the Millers in the second half of that game to pull out a win, the unit was even better Thursday. NHS held Yukon scoreless in the first half and was able to come up with big stops as the game wore on.
“We faced some adversity when they went on some deep drives, but we were able to get the stops when we needed them,” corner Boston Lewis said. “We didn’t play a perfect game, but we did what we needed to do to get the win.”
Next up for NHS is a likely trip to Owasso next week to face the team that has knocked the Tigers out of the playoffs in each of the past two seasons.
Corbin HoslerFollow me @Chosler88chosler@normantranscript.com
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