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August 30, 2013

Tigers focus on improving

NORMAN — With just one week before the football season officially kicks off with the Crosstown Clash, Norman High will use the last scrimmage of the preseason to prepare.

And they’ll do it at home. The Tigers will host the fourth annual Top of the World Classic at Harve Collins field. The event, sponsored by Top of the World and Midwest Sports Goods, will bring eight schools to NHS for a unique scrimmage format. The event begins at 5 p.m., and varsity squads will take the field at 7:10 p.m.

The eight schools — NHS, Choctaw, Deer Creek, McAlester, Sapulpa, Shawnee, Stillwater and Noble — will compete in a combination of quick fire and drive-to-score exercises. The rapid-fire format of the scrimmage will have every squad rotate against the other teams rather than compete in a traditional two-quarter scrimmage game.

Six teams at a time will participate in the quick fire portion, where offenses rotate every play and defenses every fourth play. On the other side of the field, two teams will compete in the drive-to-score competition, where the offense is given the ball on the 40 and allowed three plays to complete a first down or score. If one team fails, the other will take over on offense.

The nature of the event gives the Tigers the opportunity to work against many different looks, and refine their own, something coach Greg Nation said was a focus in practice this week.

“We want to be sure of our schemes and make sure all our kids are on the same page,” he said. “As coaches, you spend the first few week putting everything in, then go back with an eraser and start taking things out so you can do what your guys are comfortable with. You want to play fast and you can’t be hesitant. That means you can’t do stuff they aren’t comfortable with.”

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