NORMAN — Entering Friday’s state title game, Norman North senior Jordan Evans had returned a punt or a kick for a touchdown in each of the Timberwolves’ three playoff games. Wary of the danger Evans presented, Jenks did everything it could to keep the ball out of his hands.
The Trojans tried squib kicks, onside kicks and chip shots high into the air. And, for the most part, it worked. Evans was only able to attempt one kick return, and he didn’t have much room to set up, with Jenks’ defenders just a few yards away from him when he caught the ball.
The strategy extended to punts as well. Jenks would roll out of the punter on every kick, giving him the option to run it, as the Trojans attempted once, or to kick it after a delay. That gave the Trojans’ coverage unit enough time to make it down the field, where they bottled up whoever North had back to receive the kick.
“The plan was not to let No. 6 run one back,” Jenks coach Allan Trimble said. “It wasn’t perfectly executed, but we did well enough.”
Evans, who committed to Oklahoma last week, finished the season with five touchdowns on returns.
Clash of game plans clearly defined: Going into the championship, there was no doubt where each team’s strength lie. For North, it was quarterback Peyton Gavras and a talented corps of receivers. Jenks, on the other hand, got the title game behind a strong offensive line and star running back Barr’e.
The clash in philosophies manifested itself quickly Friday night. North started the game with seven straight passing plays, while Jenks countered with five straight running plays, one of which was an 88-yard Barr’e run that set up the Trojans’ first score.