NORMAN — The Norman High boys have already lost three games, more than they have in many seasons. And still, rather than explain how far away the Tigers may be, the opposite appears to be true.
Following Class 6A top-ranked Edmond North’s 3-2 victory at Gordon Drummond Field Tuesday night, the Tigers have now managed two separate one-goal advantages over the state’s No. 1 team, the Huskies; fallen to the state’s No. 2 team, Norman North, only by way of a shootout; and taken a one-goal lead over the state’s No. 3 team, Jenks, only to fall to a couple of late Trojan tallies.
Undoubtedly, the Tigers have played the state’s toughest schedule. Just as undoubtedly, all three of those teams faced their toughest foe the night they faced the Tigers. Unfortunately, it still adds up to a 4-3 record and an 0-1 beginning to District 6A-1.
Also, assuming Norman North — which beat winless Westmoore 1-0 Tuesday — finds its way and claims District 6A-2, it could very well mean yet another Crosstown Clash the second night of the playoffs on the Timberwolves’ pitch.
NHS coach Gordon Drummond was of two minds after the loss.
“They were great tonight, absolutely terrific,” he said, speaking of his players. “But we made some mistakes and we got punished.”
Goalkeeper Austin Earley had been terrific for the Tigers all season, and the first two goals the Huskies put across, each one a game-tying effort, he likely had no chance to stop; still, the last one he’d dearly like to have back.
The game knotted 2-2, Zac Medawattage took a free kick from about 60 yards from the NHS goal, placing it about 8 yards in front of the goal mouth. The problem was Early tried to make a play on the ball about 9 1/2 yards from the goal mouth. Reaching back for the ball, he stopped it, yet couldn’t corral it. Soon it found the foot of Ross Stewart, who calmly buried the winning tally.