NORMAN — The writing was on the wall for Norman North quarterback David Cornwell, but the Alabama commit made it official on Wednesday: he won’t play again this season.
Cornwell told AL.com, an Alabama-based website, that he won’t return to the field this season but still expects to enroll at Alabama in the spring and compete for the starting job in the fall for the defending BCS champions.
What isn’t clear is the exact nature of the injury. Cornwell didn’t announce the details, but said he will have surgery. There is no timetable for his return to the field.
Cornwell injured his knee against Yukon two weeks ago on a blocked punt. He left the game and returned to the field on crutches and in street clothes. He was absent from last week’s 54-0 victory over U.S. Grant while having his knee examined.
In his place is junior John Kolar, who led North (4-2, 3-0) to a comeback victory over Yukon and the big victory last week. The Timberwolves prepare to travel to Edmond North (4-2, 3-0) this week, in a game that will outline the race for the District 6A-3 title.
While the Timberwolves will miss Cornwell under center, coach Wade Standley said the team is focused on moving forward and reaching the goals they’ve set for themselves.
“Our goal is still to improve every week and put ourselves in a position to make the playoffs and a position to win in the playoffs,” he said. “To do that, we have to win these district games.”
In the four-and-a-half games Cornwell played, he totaled 1,445 yards passing with a 61 percent completion rate. He tallied 12 touchdowns while throwing just two interceptions, and was improving as the season went on, and the offense — particularly the line — matured around him.
Kolar is now the face of the T-Wolves’ offense moving forward. Moving back to quarterback after starting the season at wide receiver, his passing stats may be modest but his impact hasn’t been. Kolar is 15 for 22 on the season for 346 yards, five touchdowns and no interceptions.
He has proven that he possesses the tools to manage the explosive, pass-first North offense. He brought the Timberwolves back from 14 points down against the Millers to pull out a last-second victory, and his ability to make plays with his feet, as well as his arm, will complement sophomore running back Quan Hogan.
“The transition from receiver to quarterback couldn’t have gone better,” Kolar said after last week’s win. “It was great to finally get to start. Now we’re looking ahead to next week. We’ve got a big game.”
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