NORMAN — Norman North has accomplished much of what it wanted this year. The fourth-ranked Timberwolves are 9-1 and wrapped up a district title by going undefeated in District 6A-3 and ended the season on a seven-game winning streak.
But the Timberwolves haven’t yet accomplished their biggest goal of the season, either — winning in the playoffs. It’s been North’s goal since the outset of the season. Really, since last season ended with a road loss to Lawton in the first round of the playoffs.
“This team is excited about being in a position to win in the playoffs like we’ve talked about all year,” coach Wade Standley said. “From Day One, that’s been our goal. We’ve had a lot of room to improve, and we’ve done that continuously.”
The Timberwolves finally get a chance to make that goal a reality, when Southmoore visits Harve Collins Field at 7:30 tonight to kick off the playoffs for both schools.
“We’ve been working hard to prepare for this,” tight end Payton Prince said. “You can tell people are focused. There’s no horsing around in the locker room and everyone is paying a lot of attention to film.”
North locked up the No. 1 spot in District 6A-3 weeks ago, but the Timberwolves chose not to rest any of its starters besides Jordan Evans, who will be healthy heading into tonight’s game. Keeping the starters keyed in could prove to be a big key for North, which drew arguably the toughest 1-4 matchup in the state with the SaberCats.
Southmoore (7-3) spent most of the season in the conversation for “best in the west,” and the SaberCats spent time in the top five of multiple polls. Led by quarterback Tre Edwards at quarterback, Southmoore possesses a bevy of athletic players in skill positions and boasts an explosive offense that scored 107 points in its last two games.
“They’re a good football team and they can make some big plays,” Standley said. “But we go into every game thinking it’s more about us and doing what we need to do.”
Among the things the Timberwolves will need to do well is stop the big play. With Edwards leading the attack, the SaberCats have the ability to break a big play at any time, something Standley says has been a focus on defense in practice.
“They’re a big-play offense,” Standley said. “That’s something we have to be able to stop defensively.”
One advantage the T-Wolves do have is that they’ll be playing in front of a home crowd, something the players are looking forward to.
“Playing at home is going to be a really big benefit for us, and having that home crowd gets us even more excited and ready to get this win,” Prince said. “Now it’s time to go out and get a win.”
Corbin HoslerFollow me @Chosler88chosler@normantranscript.com