NORMAN — When Broken Arrows visits Norman North for a 7 p.m. kickoff Friday in the second round of the Class 6A playoffs, there is one matchup that will likely define the game.
That comes between the North offense, which boasts the second-highest scoring offense in Class 6A, against the Broken Arrow defense, which allowed the fewest points of any team in Class 6A this season.
Led by a diverse offensive attack that can take to the ground behind traditional running back Bryan Payne or turn to Jordan Evans and the Wildcat or move the ball through air with quarterback Peyton Gavras, North (10-1) has found ways to put the ball in the endzone.
On the other hand, Broken Arrow (8-3) is adept at preventing opposing offenses from doing so. The Tigers have had success holding high-scoring opponents back, giving up just 19 points to Owasso, 24 to Jenks and 13 to Westmoore in the final week of the regular season. Broken Arrow allowed just six points to Sand Springs, its first-round playoff opponent.
“We’re still after that gold ball, and we can do better,” Payne said after North put 21 points on the board in last week’s first-round victory over Southmoore.
Broken Arrow offense improving: After several tough outings early in the season, Broken Arrow has found its rhythm over the last month of the season behind quarterback Coleman Key.
The Tigers have averaged 36 points a game over their last five contests, with Key a big part of that success. The junior signal-caller, whose brother Kason led Owasso to playoff victories over Norman High the last two years, showed why in a first-round victory over Sand Springs. Key finished 16-of-23 for 179 yards and a pair of touchdowns in Broken Arrow’s 35-6 win, but he will face a tough test from the Timberwolves defense, which has been strong at forcing turnovers this season.