NORMAN — Two minutes into the game, it looked like Norman High was in trouble. No. 6 Southmoore took the opening kickoff at its own 20 and effortlessly marched down the field. The SaberCats went 75 yards in just three plays before Tre Edwards punched it in to put Southmoore on top 7-0.
It seemed liked the Tigers might be in for a long night, and it didn’t look any better after NHS went three-and-out on its first possession.
Luckily for the Tigers, games aren’t decided in the first five minutes.
Behind A’erion Hines, NHS stormed back after the rough start, scoring 28 straight points to bury Southmoore early in the second quarter. The Tigers got another boost on a kick return touchdown, and Southmoore never got within a score again as NHS held on to win 41-28.
“That was a total team effort tonight,” coach Greg Nation said. “Our kids worked hard tonight. We talk about playing Norman Tiger football, and that’s what we did tonight.”
It was an important win for the eighth-ranked Tigers (6-1, 4-0), who believe they can win a loaded District 6A-4 and are in position to after Friday’s victory. NHS is now tied with Edmond Santa Fe at the top after Santa Fe defeated Lawton 68-28 on Thursday. Southmoore (5-2, 2-2), is reduced to hoping for an upset to regain a shot at the top.
Things weren’t easy for the typical Tiger running game, in part because back A’erion Hines was fighting a sore toe suffered in practice last week.
But it takes more than a sore toe to sideline Hines, and he showed both his toughness and athleticism on Friday. He delivered on both the hard yards and the big plays, from his 1-yard touchdown run in the first to put NHS on the board to his later highlight-reel touchdown scampers of 42 and 50 yards, he carried the Tigers, finishing with 182 yards and four touchdowns on 11 carries.