Before taking on the Plainsmen, during a more regimented part of the scrimmage, Dean kept off-tackle and ran 35 yards through the Owasso defense for a score. Two plays later, Darius Hawkins did the same thing against Bixby’s defense. And, though he struggled to break completely free, junior receiver Sayvon Foley still looked like a highlight waiting to happen.
And, because sometimes you need a coach to help follow the action at one of these things, NHS assistant Sonny Feexico offered up that the two best Tiger units might be both lines, which is a really good place to be when you’re long on playmakers.
Of course, Dean was worth the price of admission, and not just when he was picking or passing his way down the field.
During the defense’s second turn against Enid, the Tiger quarterback just about bolted onto the field after the unit made a stop. Told that his teammates had to appreciate the starting quarterback trying to pick them up, Dean only wished he could do more.
“I wish I could be out there,” he said. “I can play a little free safety. I did it in eighth grade.”
Told it has to be exciting to count so many sets of hands able to do something with the ball, Nation declared that’s what his team’s all about.
“We’re trying to pick up 31⁄3 yards very play. If we can do that, we’re a success,” he said. “That’s why I’m excited when we get 5 or 6, then we have yardage to work with.
“A lot of kids can make plays for us.”
Many of them did.
From Burkhart to Dean to Kappell to Parker to Shone to Hawkins to Foley to Hill making the defense stop required to win.
“I’m proud of the way we fought,” Dean said. “We could have given up when they scored, but we kept fighting.”
He’s clearly a leader, but Dean was asked who the others on the team were.
“We’ve got 99 brothers,” he said.
Hard to count out a team like that. Hard not to like it either.
The Tigers are earning their following.
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