NORMAN — Time and again, Norman North’s offense answered the call, making big play after big play to stay in the game against Mustang.
But it was the Broncos, and sophomore quarterback Chandler Garrett, who had the last big play in them.
With fewer than two minutes left and on third-and-long, a hobbled Garrett found David Parker for a 25-yard strike that set up the Frankie Edwards’ 17-yard touchdown run that turned out to be the final score in a wild 44-37 Mustang victory.
Garrett, who was injured in the third quarter and was still limping after the game, came through all night for the Broncos, especially when it mattered most. He was 5 for 6 for 61 yards on the deciding drive that began deep in Broncos’ territory with 1:22 left in the game, and perfect on the throw that kept them alive for the game-winner.
It was expected that with District 6A-3’s No. 1 seed Norman North (7-4) hosting Mustang (7-4), District 6A-4’s No. 4 seed, that there would be plenty of points scored. And neither team disappointed. North accumulated 550 yards of total offense, while Mustang had 531.
Garrett threw for 264 yards and added 36 more and two touchdowns on the ground. Frankie Edwards rushed for 156 yards and added two scores on the ground while throwing for another.
But, in the end, it was a game that came down to a few stops. Mustang provided it in the final minute, but the Timberwolves, who were forced to play five players both ways, could not.
“With the injuries this year, we had to ask some guys to go both ways for us, and that can take a toll,” coach Wade Standley said. “But those guys did an incredible job.”
Friday’s game eventually turned into a shootout, but it didn’t start off that way, with both teams trading defensive stops to open the game. The scoring began with some trickery from both teams. North started off the scoring, lining up in its patented “U-Haul” formation, Payton Prince took the snap and took a step forward. But, instead of running it, he pitched to quarterback John Kolar, who had lined up at wide receiver and came around the backfield as if he were running a reverse. Instead, he took a step back and found a wide-open Tyler Sipe to put North on top.
Behind Kolar’s 357 passing yards and Nick Basquine’s 11 receptions for 169 yards, including a highlight-reel player on a 60-yard touchdown in the second half, the Timberwolves’ offense rolled early, amassing a 21-7 lead. But the Broncos clawed back, and eventually took the lead early in the fourth quarter. That ignited a wild back-and-forth 12 minutes that saw a tie and three lead changes before the game finally ended when the Timberwolves lost the ball on a desperation hook-and-ladder.
Mustang advances to play Broken Arrow in the Class 6A playoffs, while Norman North finishes a season marred by injuries 7-4.
“If there’s one word for this group, it’s resilient,” Standley said. “They’ve battled through everything that could possibly happen this season. These seniors left a legacy here. They’re the only group to ever win back-to-back district championships. They’ve been warriors since day one, and they finished as warriors tonight.”
Follow me @Chosler88
Breaking news, severe weather alerts, AMBER alerts, sports scores from The Norman Transcript are available as text messages right to your phone or mobile device. You decide which type of alerts you want to receive. Find out more or to signup, click here.