NORMAN — Four west-side schools took the field Friday night to try and bring down the east’s “Big Four.” It was billed as a year that the West could make progress against the East, and the Class 6A quarterfinals lined up as such to put that theory to the test.
There were signs this year could be different than years past, in which the “Big Four” of Tulsa Union, Jenks, Broken Arrow and Owasso — the four largest schools in the state — dominated the playoffs, and in Jenks’ and Union’s case, the title game. West schools entered the quarterfinals 39-5, while east-side schools were just 34-9. But as Friday night wore on it was clear that Norman North was the only team up to the challenge, defeating Broken Arrow 24-16 to move into the semifinals.
And the Timberwolves’ game was the only one that was particularly close, reinforcing the belief that the East is still a step or two ahead.
Norman High hung tough with Owasso for much of the first half, but the Rams were able to pull away for a 35-15 victory. Likewise, Edmond North kept pace with Jenks into the fourth quarter, but Jenks’ back Trey’Vonne Barr’e blew open the game early in the final frame with an 80-yard touchdown run that finally put the Huskies in the rearview mirror. That’s where they stayed, with Jenks opening it up from there en route to a 34-12 win.
Tulsa Union, meanwhile, didn’t even give Edmond Santa Fe a chance. The Redskins jumped on the Wolves early and often, forcing five turnovers in a blowout, 52-19 victory.
That sets up this week’s games, with Norman North advancing to the semifinals for the first time in history, where the Timberwolves will face Owasso at Tulsa Union while Union meets Jenks at Broken Arrow. It’s a chance for North, already giant-killers after knocking off the state’s largest high school, to make some more history.