By Christian Potts
The Norman Transcript
NORMAN — DEL CITY – Barely three minutes had transpired Friday night at Kalsu Stadium, and Del City and Norman North had already clicked off quick opening touchdown drives against each other.
The pinball game was on.
In the end, the Timberwolves got in the last blow, holding on for a 41-38 victory, a perfect remedy from the bad taste in their collective mouths after last week’s Crosstown Clash defeat.
“It was big to come out here and get a win,” said senior tight end Payton Prince. “I’m so proud of my team that we just kept fighting all night.”
The Timberwolves needed to against a Del City squad (1-1) that figures to be one of the best and most explosive in Class 5A.
North (1-1) had its own explosive playmaking from two main sources. Quarterback David Cornwell completed 23 of 32 passes for 319 yards and three touchdowns, including the eventual game winner to Nick Basquine with 7:15 to go.
And running back Quan Hogan seemed to be everywhere, totaling 200 yards of offense between his rushing and 10 pass receptions.
Ironically, on a night where the teams pushed the 1,000-yard mark between them, it came down to a pair of defensive stops to seal the game for the Timberwolves after taking the late lead on Basquine’s score.
On a key third down play near midfield, North’s Trey Wormington stopped Del City quarterback Tyler Wilson on a keeper. Then North showed blitz on the fourth down play, and perhaps forced a bad Eagle pass that led to a turnover on downs.
Del City got the ball back and drove one last time into North territory. But the North secondary broke up consecutive passes before sophomore Jake Brewer intercepted Wilson in the end zone to secure the win.
“We just had guys step up there and make plays,” Coach Wade Standley said. “We had a lot of adversity but we overcame a lot of things.”
The biggest challenge was the play of Wilson, the Eagles’ sophomore signal caller. He torched North for 249 yards on the ground and another 203 through the air.
“Hats off to Del City, they are a great club,” Standley said. “And their quarterback is a really special kid, he gave us problems all night.”
North has its own special quarterback in Cornwell, who appeared to be moving better Friday as he recovers from a preseason ankle tweak.
He hit passes all night, none bigger than the fourth quarter strike to Basquine, who caught the ball in stride in the left corner of the end zone for the winning score.
“On and off the field, David has been so big for us,” Prince said. “He made so many big throws in the game.”
For a while it looked like the game could come down to extra points. After three quarters, each team had scored five touchdowns, but Del City had a 38-33 lead, thanks to three conversions out of the “swinging gate” formation and a fourth crazy conversion when they threw for a score directly after North blocked their extra point kick.
Prince and Tyler Sipe each had success taking direct snaps out of the formation utilized in short-yardage situations last year. The pair combined for three touchdowns near the goal line.
“I just want to do what the team needs from me,” said Prince, who also caught three balls for 48 yards from his more traditional tight end position.
North completes its rugged non-district schedule next week by facing Westmoore.
“Week by week our goal is just to get better each week,” Standley said. “This week was about us. It was about getting better one day at a time.”