NORMAN — Though it did not come with a district championship, the Norman High boys still capped off their finest regular season in some time with, maybe, their finest game of that regular season Tuesday night at Harve Collins Field.
Absolutely frigid, with temperatures in the mid 30s and an even colder wind blowing across the pitch, the Tigers came out like they’d been waiting for just such conditions all season.
It added up to a very consequential 2-0 victory over third-ranked Edmond Santa Fe, one that has the Tigers playing at home on Friday, the first night of the Class 6A playoffs.
Unclear is whether or not that game will be played at Gordon Drummond Field or Harve Collins Field, but the way things went against the Wolves, the Tigers might not mind staying on campus for another 80 minutes.
“It both surprised and pleased me, to put it mildly,” said NHS coach Gordon Drummond, who secured his 324th victory at the Tiger helm, “but we were very aggressive in a way we had not been.”
If there’s a knock on fourth-ranked NHS (12-1, 6-1 District 6A-1), it has been a collective lack of urgency. As Drummond went on to point out in his postgame comments, five times this season the Tigers have taken a lead only to give it back over the next 9 minutes.
That didn’t happen against Santa Fe.
In just the third minute, Theo Ostas placed a corner kick to the head of Haydn Jones, who was stoned from point-blank range by Santa Fe keeper Chris Morgensen. Only it didn’t matter because Jorge Briones was there to pinball the ball into the back of the net.
About 10 minutes later, off another expertly placed Ostas corner kick, Matt Hockett whipped a header past Morgensen, doubling NHS’ advantage.