By Clay Horning
The Norman Transcript
YUKON — Norman North may not go back to the Class 6A championship game. Indeed, just five games into the season, all kinds of good or bad things could still happen to the T-Wolves.
But whatever happens, be it great or unfortunate, the crime will be any of it serving to make what happened Friday night at Miller Stadium any less memorable.
Norman North topped Yukon 45-42, the final difference a Jake Edzards’ 35-yard field goal with 3 seconds remaining from a wicked angle along the left hash.
It came a week after Edzards had pushed the T-Wolves past Midwest City, even by the same score, from 43 yards along the right hash.
Only Edzards’ kick, by the time it happened, was more footnote than story. At this point, North expects his boots to be accurate.
Instead, the story was that North (3-2, 2-0 District 6A-3) won despite so many things having already happened before Edzards’ final swing.
North beat Yukon after:
· Starting quarterback David Cornwell left the game injured late in the first half, after trying to recover a blocked punt. After making it off the field, a Transcript photographer watched Cornwell fall to the ground as he turned his body on the sideline. He spent the rest of the game on crutches and his condition remains unknown.
· Tight end and sometime running back Tyler Sipe lay motionless for about half an hour in the fourth quarter as an ambulance was called before he was eventually carried off the field on a backboard and stretcher. Sipe, though, raised his right arm as he left the stadium and North coach Wade Standley, who said the issue was Sipe’s neck, also said his player had movement in his arms and legs and that his being taken to an area hospital was considered precautionary.
· The Millers running off 21 unanswered points to take a 35-21 lead on Shawn Anderson’s 13-yard touchdown run with 5:52 remaining in the third quarter. It was a lead Yukon was able to maintain — 42-28 — after North receiver Nick Basquine and Yukon running back Hunter Sconce traded touchdowns prior to the third quarter’s ending.
By the time it was over, though Cornwell had been plenty effective, completing 11 of 16 for 122 yards in the first half, Kolar had been even more effective, completing 8 of 12 for 146.
“Ever since David came in, people have been telling me you’ve always got to be ready,” said Kolar, who led North on a run of 24 unanswered points to end the game. “Injuries can happen to anybody. I tell myself that every week and this week it (happened).”
The T-Wolves got a little help from the Millers, who turned the ball over on downs, going for it on fourth-and-4 at the North 47.
Quan Hogan got the ensuing drive going with a 32-yard run and soon Payton Prince was in the end zone with his second touchdown on a 3-yard run.
Then Yukon (3-2, 1-1) acted like the last thing North would ever try was an onside kick with 5:30 remaining, but Adam Cooper kicked it, the T-Wolves recovered and, with 1:38 to play, just moments after Sipe had lay prone for so long, Prince went in for his third touchdown on a 1-yard run with 1:38 remaining.
Finally, North forced Yukon’s first punt of the night with 52 seconds remaining.
Basquine, who’d scored North’s first touchdown on a highlight-reel 39-yard run, and who finished with 152 receiving yards, turned in his final big play of the night, pulling down a Kolar offering for a 44-yard gain, setting up Edzards in the process.
Standley might have pulled himself together by the time he hit the North locker room, but spoke in halting and emotional tones on his way there.
“Those guys play with all their heart and all their soul and just show a tremendous amount of character,” he said. “It’s about the T-Wolves man … They don’t play for the name on the back of the jersey. They play for the name on the front.”
Friday night in Yukon, they played to win. Against all odds, they pulled it off.
Follow me @clayhorning