The Norman Transcript

October 21, 2013

T-Wolves in command

By Corbin Hosler
The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — The playoff race is far from over, but Norman North took a commanding lead with Friday night’s big win over Edmond North. In a week of upsets and big games, the Timberwolves stayed the course and stayed in the lead for a second straight District 6A-3 title, something unthinkable just two years ago in a district that Midwest City had dominated for a decade.

It could have been a letdown week for North (5-2, 4-0), which was playing its toughest game since losing Alabama commit David Cornwell for the season. There were plenty of excuses. From the severity of Cornwell’s injury being announced just days before the game to a cold, rainy night that could have derailed North’s passing game, plenty of things could have gone wrong for the Timberwolves.

But they didn’t, and North delivered another sparkling performance in a season that wasn’t supposed to be full of them. The T-Wolves began the season breaking in a completely new defensive unit and a young offensive line. Both holes were painfully obvious in early losses to Norman High and Westmoore.

But things have changed. In dramatic, last-second victories over Midwest City and Yukon, North proved it had the talent to compete, and against Edmond North they proved they had turned the corner for good. Outside of last week’s game against an 0-7 US Grant squad, the defense allowed the fewest points of the season on Friday, and the T-Wolves did it against a solid Huskies offense.

More importantly, North proved that the loss of Cornwell isn’t going to slow them down. John Kolar has been potent through two and a half games, leading the team to a come-from-behind win against Yukon and showing Friday that he’s fully comfortable running the offense. The junior adds a new dimension to the offense with his mobility and showed how dangerous that could be against Edmond North.

The Huskies entered the game having allowed the fewest points of any team in Class 6A and hadn’t given up more than 13 to anyone except for then-No. 4 Edmond Santa Fe and Oklahoma commit Justice Hansen. But North jumped on them from the start, and Kolar was a major reason why, throwing for 302 yards and a touchdown without an interception and displayed his versatility by adding two more on the ground.

“I’ve been preparing all week for this,” Kolar said after the game. “People have been telling me it’s my time to have to have a big game, so I just went out there and did my best.”

His best — along with copious amounts of help from his teammates including three touchdowns from Payton Prince and 183 receiving yards from Nick Basquine — was more than enough to take down the toughest game left on North’s schedule. With the win, the T-Wolves are the only undefeated team left in District 6A-3, and have three games left against teams with a combined record of 6-15. While the race is far from over, and this week’s contest against Putnam City North looms large, North is firmly in control of its own destiny.

Corbin Hosler

Follow me @Chosler88

chosler@normantranscript.com