NORMAN — Norman North’s first scrimmage of the preseason Thursday, a loss in a half-game against Edmond Santa Fe, drew more attention than many regular-season games. Star quarterbacks David Cornwell, a transfer to North who is committed to play at Alabama, and Edmond Santa Fe’s Justice Hansen, who will be at Oklahoma next season, were the cause of most of the hype, and the scrimmage was as well-attended as any preseason event in T-Wolves’ history.
But, while both quarterbacks were impressive, it was some less-heralded names from North that perhaps proved the most on Thursday.
The first was sophomore running back Quan Hogan. He showed flashes of brilliance in limited appearances last season and picked up an offer during the summer from Tulsa, and he showed why on Thursday. The back picked up yards in chunks against a speedy Wolves defense, and provided one memorable highlight when he turned a simple power run into a 20-yard gain with a combination of speed, spin moves and determination. He also caught several short passes and turned them into sizable gains with his speed and footwork after the catch.
It was more than enough to impress his partner in the backfield.
“I thought he earned that offer from Tulsa tonight,” Cornwell said of Hogan after the scrimmage. “He was explosive.”
The other player that stood out on Thursday was wide receiver Nick Basquine. The senior, who saw some time last season while playing behind the talented receiving duo of Jake Higginbotham and Corbin Cleveland, came into his own Thursday. He made a number of impressive catches, didn’t drop a pass and made defenders miss after coming down with the ball.
The most impressive play for Basquine came early in the scrimmage. Cornwell was forced up and then out of the pocket while Basquine raced down the sideline. Cornwell rolled to his right and threw an off-balance bomb down the field, where Basquine went up over the corner and pulled in the pass before securing the ball with both of his feet inbounds as he tumbled into the end zone.
Basquine’s breakout performance was encouraging for coach Wade Standley, who said he has the skills to be the go-to, big-play receiver for the Timberwolves.
“He had a great game tonight and made some great plays,” Standley said of Basquine. “I hope he can become that guy for us, and I think he can.”
At least after one scrimmage, the trio of Cornwell, Basquine and Hogan seems to have overcome the large group of seniors who carried the offense a year ago.
“I saw some great stuff,” coach Wade Standley said. “I’m encouraged by our playmaking ability.”
Follow me @Chosler88