NORMAN — Most of the game, when not on the field, Norman High quarterback Jakcob Dean was doing one of two things.
He was sitting on a bench as though it was lawn furniture, like the coolest cat in the stadium, which he might well have been, or he was pacing the sideline, looking for somebody to talk to.
The Tigers led by 17 points, about 11 minutes remained and Dean, levelheaded enough even to say a few words to a sportswriter in the middle of the Crosstown Clash, soon found a better listener in Tiger wide receiver George Carter.
Funny, he said the same thing to Carter he’d told the sportswriter.
“We still got some more drives,” he said. “We still got some more drives.”
As it turned out, he was wrong. Also, as it turned out, that was cool. Because you don’t have to be right to lead. You only have to lead.
Dean had led enough. Everybody had. Enough to dispatch Norman North 38-31 and reclaim the title as best team in town.
Defensive end Cade Parker spent the night chasing North quarterback David Cornwell behind the line of scrimmage, accounting for a lion’s, er, Tiger’s share of NHS’ nine sacks.
Kierstan Pendleton made a play he’ll never forget and may never top, flat stealing the ball out of North receiver Nick Basquine’s hands before bringing it back 36 yards, knotting the score 7-7 and chasing all the jitters out of a Tiger offense that needed a huge defensive play to set it straight.
Then there was Darius Manning, turning the first play of the fourth quarter, an innocent looking third-and-8 from the Tiger 28 into a 72-yard burst.
Of course, somebody had to block for him. Of course, somebody had to occupy the Timberwolves’ offensive line, allowing other Tigers to spend the night chasing Cornwell.