YUKON — Maybe it’s better this way for Norman High.
A third straight horrendously slow offensive start to the game; a strong defensive scheme from their opponent, one that District 6A-4 opponents, beginning next week, are sure to study and try to exploit; not to mention the lesson that rarely is it enough to be only momentarily explosive, and when your defense gives you the ball and field position time and again, you really have to do something with it.
The Tigers (2-1) couldn’t Friday night at Miller Stadium, leaving Yukon (2-1) to walk away a 21-19 victor.
The crazy thing was, for all of those issues, NHS was still in position to win through most of the second half, not yielding the lead until Miller quarterback Hayden Somerville found Caelan Groce for a 24-yard touchdown with 10:25 remaining.
And, after Groce, also Yukon’s punter, caught NHS napping with a fake that ultimately led to an eight-point Yukon lead, forged on Somerville’s 3-yard scoring toss to Parker Bohannon with 6:39 remaining, the Tigers still threatened overtime when Jakcob Dean, after throwing eight straight incompletions to begin the second half, caught fire in the final moments and led the Tigers on a 99-yard drive.
The last two passes of the march were to Sayvon Foley, the first for 10-yards and the second for 28 and six points with 44.6 seconds remaining. However, trying to hit George Carter with a two-point conversion pass to tie the game, though Dean hit him in the hands, it was Miller defender Josh Beddell getting a hand in to break it up and finish the Tiger threat.
“They brought it to us,” said Dean, who turned in the Tigers’ biggest play of the night, a 58-yard keeper that arrested control of the game, putting NHS up 10-0 in the second quarter.