NORMAN — When the season started, the Timberwolves set two goals for their season. The first, to win the district, they accomplished a month ago en route to a 9-1 regular season finish.
The second goal was to win in the playoffs. And, despite Norman North’s 21-6 opening-round victory over Southmoore last week, it’s a goal that the T-Wolves don’t consider accomplished just yet.
“The goal was never just to win a game in the playoffs,” coach Wade Standley said. “It’s about building a program that can win throughout the playoffs.”
Fourth-ranked North (10-1) will get its chance to tonight to make that goal a reality. No. 3 Broken Arrow (8-3) will meet North at 7 p.m. on Harve Collins Field with a trip to the state semifinals on the line.
Broken Arrow, the state’s largest high school, has just two in-state losses this year, to top-ranked Tulsa Union and No. 2 Jenks. The Tigers also own a win over No. 5 Owasso. They’re on a five-game winning streak, including a 35-6 blowout win over Sand Springs last week.
And they’ve done it with defense. Broken Arrow boasts the state’s best scoring defense, and hasn’t given up more than 20 points in a game since Oct. 5.
“We know what they bring, but for us it’s about working on what we do and being ready to take it out on the field,” Standley said. “We have our offensive gameplan, and it will come down to executing and taking care of the ball.”
Heading into the game, the Timberwolves could be considered the underdog, one of the only times that’s been true all season. North has a legitimate claim at being “best in the west,” but the perception is that the four west teams left in the playoffs can’t keep up with the best the east has to offer.
It’s a new role for the T-Wolves, but they don’t expect it to change the dynamic of the game in favor of either team.
“We’ll be considered the underdog just because we’re from the west, and we’re fine with that,” senior linebacker Jordan Evans said. “It doesn’t matter once you’re on the field.”
And the Timberwolves didn’t need any more motivation. Evans said the locker room is the most focused he’s seen it all season, and the team’s large group of seniors is leading the way.
“It’s more upbeat in the school and the locker room than it has been,” Evans said. “We don’t want this run to end.”
Corbin HoslerFollow me @Chosler88chosler@normantranscript.com