The Norman Transcript

October 12, 2012

North might be best in west

By Clay Horning
The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — So this became the question on the Harve Collins Field sideline Thursday night, where No. 3 Edmond North was having a heck of a time with unranked Norman North.

Biggest win since the split?

(A few minutes remained, but the writing was on the wall)

Just as it began to be answered affirmatively, both sides of the conversation remembered the time North beat Norman High on the first night of the 2006 playoffs.

Because people forget the canyon between the two programs. The T-Wolves had never beaten the Tigers. Ever.

It was a thunderclap.

So, what to make of Thursday night at the old stadium, where the T-Wolves first beat and then destroyed the Huskies 49-27?

A statement?

Serving notice?

Validation?

Confirmation?

All of the above?

Six years ago, it was about North finally reaching relevancy. This was about the T-Wolves reaching higher than they’ve ever reached.

It is the win neither city program had ever won. It is the victory that, before it happens, everybody talks about with a bit of mystery in their voice because on the other side of it may lay a brave new world for the victors.

Momentarily, at least, North is the Great West Hope.

Midwest City stumbled (again and again). Edmond North stunned Edmond Santa Fe. Santa Fe topped Southmoore, and the SaberCats handed Westmoore and Lawton their only losses. Only Edmond North had escaped unscathed … until the T-Wolves throttled the Huskies on Thursday night.

They were fortunate, yes.

Jordan Evans brought a kickoff back 89 yards because, apparently, the Huskies forgot how North won the Clash.

One of Payton Prince’s two touchdowns had to deflect off the fingertips of two Huskies first — on fourth down — so he could reel in a ball never meant to be coming his way.

And freshman running back Quan Hogan got credit for a 97-yard touchdown sprint down the right sideline, though it was Channing Meyer who carried the first five or six yards before making like J.C. Watts to get it in Hogan’s hands.

But guess what?

Evans made that play, returning it down the left edge, hurdling tacklers before breaking free for good. And Meyer, who’d fumbled it away twice already, turned into Cool Hand Luke and made the play of the night to that moment, making a one-possession game a two-possession game late in the third quarter.

Prince’s second touchdown?

That was lucky.

Also, North won by 22.

“We knew if we beat them, it would be a great statement,” Evans said. “We always had the confidence we could beat them.”

But believing it and doing it can be like night and day. Now the T-Wolves have done it, even going away.

North is going to have a hard time losing a game in District 6A-3. Putnam City North, next week, is the last quality opponent on the slate.

One of the Panthers’ two losses? To the Huskies, 52-28.

One reason why it shouldn’t be a problem is North quarterback Peyton Gavras has grown up before our eyes, going from good prep quarterback to great prep quarterback. If he was 6-3 instead of 5-10, he’d be the biggest diamond going in the recruiting rough, coming off a junior season in which injury kept him off many radars.

If he desires, he’ll still be a steal for somebody.

All he did Thursday was throw for 391 yards on 18-of-32 accuracy, five for scores without a pick. And if he got lucky with Prince once, luck had nothing to do with his other four touchdown tosses: 16 yards to Prince, 45 yards to Jake Higginbotham, 79 yards to Corbin Cleveland and 21 to Higginbotham.

He was hitting his receivers with the deep ball, and he was hitting them in stride.

“You kind of feel it,” Gavras said. “You’re in the zone.”

North is really good.

When not dominant, against the Huskies, it made the plays. D.J. Hicks picked off two passes. Jaxon Uhles lived in the Husky backfield.

You wonder how far it can translate. You wonder if Jenks or Union can be unseated. Every year, we wonder who’s strong enough to challenge.

Knocking off the Huskies may only be North’s second biggest win, but it has the T-Wolves’ helmets in the ring

It’s a brave new world.

The fun may only be beginning.

Clay HorningFollow me @clayhorningcfhorning@normantranscript.com

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