This is why we watch.
This is why we cover the games, why 3,000 or so Normanites packed John Crain Field on a cool Tuesday night. This is what we hope to see.
Something new, something unexpected, something we’ll remember going forward, maybe the day he does it again, on a still bigger stage than the Crosstown Clash, the kind of stage you don’t get off without having some hardware draped around your neck.
None of which is to say Norman North’s Lexi Carroll wasn’t fabulous, because she was, scoring a perfect goal between the crossbar and the outstretched arms of Norman High keeper Hannah Mhor, and creating a second with a laser Mhor stopped but couldn’t corral, leaving Blakely Bynum to clean up the mess, chipping in an insurance tally and finishing the scoring on North’s 2-0 victory.
Only, that was the girls.
The boys, let’s face it, was the main event. The defending state champion T-Wolves against the always dangerous Tigers, who played for a state title two years ago, but have nonetheless been second best in their hometown for more than a decade.
So here it came.
The Tigers and T-Wolves played a game between the penalty boxes. North had more shots, more corner kicks, more fouls and, frankly, more to lose.
But it remained so evenly matched that neither keeper, NHS’ Andrew Arledge, nor North’s Daniel Taylor had collected a single save 80 minutes after it began, nor had either let a ball get past them.
Somebody had to win.
So they went to a shootout.
North had just lost a shootout four days earlier against Broken Arrow and NHS coach Gordon Drummond thought that might be good for his side.
“I kept thinking if we got to a shootout it would be very difficult for (North) because of what happened Friday,” he said. “And then Jorge (Briones) put one over the bar and then I don’t think it’s such a great idea.”