NORMAN — Moore came out of Friday’s Big Cat Classic with more than just a lopsided loss. The Lions also suffered a couple of crucial injuries during the 58-14 defeat.
Starting tailback Ryan Lujan has a severely bruised knuckle and is expected to miss this weeks game against U.S. Grant. The senior rushed for 94 yards and got a touchdown against Southmoore before the injury sent him to the bench late in the second half.
“It seems like it’s my knuckle,” Lujan said. “We will find out what’s wrong with it when we get X-rays.”
MHS senior Jordan Norris also came up injured and left the field on crutches after the game against Southmoore. There is no word on his availability against the Generals Friday.
Penalties costing North: Penalties and mental mistakes are to be expected early in the season, but a string of them between Norman North and Westmoore on Friday proved to be the difference. The two teams combined for 28 penalties, with 13 of those coming against North, but the T-Wolves undoubtedly had the more-costly mistakes.
Early in the game North’s Quan Hogan returned a kick to the Westmoore 5-yard line and had the T-Wolves seemingly in position to punch it in, but a holding call brought the ball back into North territory, where the T-Wolves fizzled out. North also had a pass to the goal line canceled out due to a block in the back, and several times committed personal fouls that extended Jaguars’ drives.
With a stingy Midwest City defense on tap for the district opener this week, the Timberwolves cannot afford any mistakes and will look to clean up their game against the Bombers.
Timberwolves’ offense rolling: What may get lost coming out of North’s 45-31 loss to Westmoore on Friday is how successful the T-Wolves were on offense. Their defense gave up more than 600 yards and 45 points, but the offense, led by quarterback David Cornwell and receiver Nick Basquine, gave the team a shot.
The duo combined on 10 passes for more than 200 yards, with Basquine providing the deep-ball threat that coach Wade Standley hoped he would for the squad. With a trip to the much-improved Midwest City on Friday, the T-Wolves’ prolific offense will get its toughest test of the season against a Bombers’ unit that is giving up an average of just 10 points a game.
Special teams a consistent threat for Tigers: Norman High may have had troubles with its offense on Friday in a loss to Yukon, but the Tigers again were put into the best position possible by the special teams.
After two special teams touchdowns gave the Tigers the boost they needed to get on top of Moore, the kicking game again gave them a leg up on Yukon.
Though the Tigers were unable to take full advantage, kicker Matt Hockett was nearly flawless for the squad. He hit two field goals of 39 and 42 yards, while averaging more than 40 yards a punt and booting nearly every kick this season into the opposing end zone. The senior is 3-for-4 on field goals the season.
Versatility: In Southmoore’s win, no player was asked to do more than Dunya Rice. The sophomore had three carries for 87 yards and a touchdown on offense and started his first game at cornerback on defense.
When the season started, Southmoore coach Jeff Brickman wanted to use Rice as his quarterback in wildcat formations. He was considered a CO-starting quarterback.
However, as the season has progressed, Southmoore hasn’t used the wildcat style formation much, but have still found ways to keep Rice involved in the game.
“I just keep working at practice and try to start at everything I can to help my team out to win and stay on top,” Rice said. “I try to be an athlete.”
Rice showed off his versatility against the Lions when he came up with an interception on defense and a touchdown run on offense. It was easy for him to decide which one was more exciting.
“It would probably have to be the touchdown,” Rice said. “I scored. It’s fun to score.”
The SaberCats host Edmond Santa Fe Friday in district action at Moore Stadium.
Still undefeated: Heading into district play this week, there are only seven teams left in class 6A that are still undefeated. Five of them belong to district 6A-2. They include Bixby, Jenks, Sapulpa, Tulsa Edison and Westmoore.
The number of undefeated teams will lose at least one after Friday with the Jaguars and Spartans facing off in Bixby.
Westmoore will be without senior lineman Matt Whitney, who is expected to have surgery today after dislocating his ankle Friday against Norman North. However, wideout Dahu Green is considered probable despite an elbow injury in the same game against the Timberwolves. He had 3 catches for 128 yards and a TD before leaving the game.
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