NORMAN — The most exciting thing that happened Friday night came before the Tigers even kicked the ball off to Moore. Senior Josh Farley’s father, who had been serving in the military overseas, surprised the senior during the pregame coin flip when he took off the mascot’s mask and revealed himself to his son.
It was a heart-tugging moment for everyone in the stadium. It was also one of the only things that went right for the Tigers in the first half, who finished with just 38 yards of offense but entered the locker room on top of the Lions thanks to a pair of big special team plays.
The Tigers didn’t fix everything in the second half, but it was a near 180-degree turnaround from the first half. They got the rushing game going and did more than enough to put away Moore, defeating the Lions 45-30 to move to 2-0 on the season.
“They’re a tough team to prepare for,” coach Greg Nation said. “And they came out ready and prepared for us. But we persevered, and our guys fought back.”
Moore jumped on NHS from the opening possession. The Lions reeled off several long runs in a row, utilizing the same type of option rushing attack that the Tigers themselves run. NHS held the Lions to a field goal on the opening possession, but things got worse from there. The Tigers tried a trick play on their first snap of the game and were stuffed in the backfield, and two plays later had squandered good starting field position.
That kept the momentum with Moore, which promptly took advantage. On third and long, quarterback Jordan Bernhardy broke an 84-yard run to put the Lions on top 10-0 over a stunned Tigers’ team.
“Our team did good tonight coming back,” said running back Dupree Young, who led the Tigers with 156 rushing yards and three touchdowns. “We got behind, and some guys got angry, but at no point did I ever think we were going to lose. Once we cooled down our anger and did what we were coached to do we were able to take control.”