NORMAN — On a cold and windy Saturday, Community Christian faced off against one of its toughest opponents of the year in Sunrise Christian. And, thanks, to a great individual performance by Blake Nelson and a terrific defense, the Royals prevailed 14-0.
Nelson had a hand in all 14 of the Royals’ points, catching a 58-yard touchdown pass from Aaron Haler to put CCS on the board and later running the ball in from a few yards out. He also had a hand in the fourth-quarter sack that caused a safety to provide the game’s final margin.
After taking the early lead, the weather was on the side of the Royals. Forced to throw it in the second half, Sunrise Christian threw four interceptions and lost four fumbles as CCS ran the ball to tick down the clock throughout the half. Sunrise Christian had some success on offense, gaining more than 200 yards in the game, but the turnovers doomed the team.
CCS moved to 6-1 with the win.
Better by half: Both Washington and Lexington, 2A schools that got off to hot starts this season, did not enjoy the same success on Friday.
Lexington (4-2, 2-1) was tied 13-13 with Kingston as the third quarter wound down, but the Bulldogs kicked it into high gear, scoring 23 unanswered points to win 36-23 and strengthen their playoff chances.
Heading into the game, coach Jeff Hall said his team needed to execute better than they have in their losses this year, and his team did just that on Friday.
“We kind of struggle sometimes at playing with emotion, and that’s kind of the mark of a young team,” he said after the game. “But we came out in the second half and executed really well.”
It was much the same for Washington. Playing against undefeated Hinton in an important district game, the Warriors (4-2, 2-1) found themselves down 21-20. But a late effort lifted Washington to a 41-21 win that doesn’t tell the story of how close the game was.
The wins set both teams up well heading into the final month of the season. Barring a collapse, both teams are on track to make the playoffs, and with a few more wins, hosting a playoff game is in sight.
Off and running: Norman High and Norman North both competed at a pre-state cross country meet on Friday at Edmond Santa Fe, and both squads placed highly at the event.
On the girls’ side, North finished second, just three points behind Mustang, and NHS came in fourth. On the boys’ side, NHS finished fourth and North came in ninth.
Mackenzie Wahpepah-Harris won the meet for NHS with a time of 15:36.
“We like where our boys are at this point,” Tigers’ coach Scott Monnard said. “It’s been a challenge keeping everyone healthy this year, but things are starting to come together and we are excited about the group of young men we will put out there during the stretch run.”
Next up for both squads in the Mid-State Conference meet on Tuesday at NHS’ home course, where the NHS boys will attempt to win their third consecutive title.
Backups perform well for North: Norman North had no trouble Thursday night scoring on an overmatched US Grant team en route to a 56-0 victory. And, while the first team put up many of those points, the backups who entered the game in the second half did an admirable job as well.
Running back Jordan Pryor had a big game. The junior carried the ball 11 times for 81 yards, an average of more than seven yards per carry, and scored three times in the game.
Defense steps up: NHS coach Greg Nation wanted his defense to be more active against Choctaw after not causing many turnovers this season.
The Tigers certainly accomplished that on Friday. They forced four turnovers and had another near-interception that the referees eventually ruled incomplete. Moreover, the Tigers recorded four sacks in the game, and would have had five if not for offsetting penalties that wiped out the play.
“We’re starting to create some turnovers, which is good,” Nation said. “You can’t hope that the other team makes a mistake or a turnover; you have to cause them.”
Corbin HoslerFollow me @Chosler88chosler@normantranscript.comMichael KinneyFollow me @firstname.lastname@example.org