NORMAN — Tonight’s game may not be a must-win for Norman High, but it’s close.
The Tigers, who will meet Edmond Memorial at 6 p.m. today at Harve Collins Field, are 0-1 in district play after a loss to Mustang last week. Playing in the loaded District 6A-4, another loss could be disastrous for the Tigers (2-2, 0-1), who still have a pair of highly-ranked district opponents left to face, as well as an impressive Southmoore squad.
Lawton and Edmond Santa Fe, ranked No. 4 and No. 6 respectively, still await the Tigers, as does Southmoore, a team that has been in and out of the Top 10 this season. Playing in the state’s deepest district and already owners of a loss to Mustang, the Tigers’ playoff chances are on the line this week when Edmond Memorial (2-2, 0-1) and Warren Wand visit Norman.
“Every district game is vitally important, and everybody in our district is playing well,” coach Greg Nation said. “You can’t write off anyone this year.”
Especially not the Bulldogs. Led by junior running back Wand, who is one of Class 6A’s top recruits and torched the Tigers last season even though NHS ran away with the game, Edmond Memorial has put together an impressive resume this season. The Bulldogs own a shutout victory over crosstown rival Edmond North and a blowout victory over one Class 5A’s top teams in Deer Creek.
But it may be a loss that shows just how good the team is. Last week the Bulldogs faced Lawton, a team widely considered to be the best on the west side of the state, and nearly pulled off the upset. Edmond Memorial fell 28-21 but showed in the defeat that it can compete with the district’s top teams.
It’s a far different situation than the one at NHS right now, where the Tigers are reeling after consecutive losses in which they’ve shot themselves in the foot over and over.