The Norman Transcript

October 17, 2013

Parker on a tear

By Corbin Hosler
The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — Norman High’s Cade Parker already owns one Tigers’ record and he’s in pursuit of another.

The senior defensive end took over the school’s career sacks record in a win over Choctaw last week by passing Matt Connery, who graduated in 2011.

Next up is the single-season record of 18, also held by Connery. Aided by his five sacks in the season-opener against Norman North, Parker has already recorded 14.5 this season, and coaches expect him to easily surpass the record. Parker is on pace for 24 sacks in the regular season.

Manning still out for NHS: With a looming showdown with Southmoore on Friday, Norman High needs all the help it can get, but the Tigers will once again be without Darius Manning.

The running back, who has been out several weeks, has tag-teamed with Dupree Young in the Tigers’ backfield this season to lead the triple-option attack. Without him, the Tigers have struggled, losing three straight before picking up a win against Choctaw.

Coaches originally hoped that Manning could return this week, but that appears unlikely. Coach Greg Nation described Manning’s status as “day-to-day” but said he like won’t be on the field Friday.

That will leave more responsibility to Bryce Burkhart, who has picked up more carries in Manning’s absence. And the junior has handled that responsibility well so far.

“Bryce is kind of a throwback,” Nation said. “He’s more like an old-school fullback. He’s a great blocker and has done a good job for us.”

Little Axe faces must-win game: After a pair of losses to Tuttle and Blanchard, two of Little Axe’s toughest district opponents, the Indians find themselves in a must-win this week.

Little Axe lost to Centennial last week, in what is essentially a meaningless non-district game. The Indians are back to district play this week when they host Bridge Creek.

Trying to make a playoff run in one of Class 3A’s toughest districts, the Indians can’t afford to lose to winless Bridge Creek when the two teams meet at 7:30 p.m. today. With a win, Little Axe puts itself in a good position heading into the stretch run of the season with several big games against Jones and Mount St. Mary.

Friday’s game pivotal to District 6A-4: When Norman North travels to Edmond North on Friday, there is more than just one game on the line. The winner will have the inside edge to a district title, something that is particularly true for the Timberwolves.

While coach Wade Standley stresses the importance of every game, he acknowledged that Friday’s game will have a profound impact on the district outlook. Norman North and Edmond North are tied atop the district at 3-0, but the Timberwolves have had the tougher schedule so far.

If the T-Wolves can top the Huskies, they’ll face a stretch run against three opponents with a combined record of 5-13.

Corbin Hosler

Follow me @Chosler88

chosler@normantranscript.com