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November 17, 2013

Down to the wire

NORMAN — Norman North’s loss to Mustang was perhaps the biggest upset in the first round of the Class 6A playoffs, but it was far from the only tightly-contested game.

Several top teams fought through games that were closer than expected. The most shocking was No. 1 Jenks’ battle with Owasso, a game in which the Trojans were expected to dominate. But though Jenks led throughout, the Rams had a chance late in the game to take the lead. It took a fourth-down stop in the final two minutes for Jenks to hold onto its undefeated season and advance to face a Midwest City team that defeated Edmond Santa Fe by 24 points on Friday night.

The state’s other undefeated team also struggled. Third-ranked Lawton faced off against a Yukon team that had competed in playoff mode for several weeks already, facing a win-and-in a week ago. Lawton’s offense was explosive as usual, but the defense struggled against the Millers, winning in a 35-29 shootout rather than the route many expected. Lawton advances to host Westmoore, 31-10 winners over Sand Springs, at 7 p.m. on Friday.

North returns key starters

While Fridays’ loss was a disappointing way for the Timberwolves to end their season, North will return several key players from the squad than won its second straight District 6A-3 championship.

Vitally, sophomore running back Quan Hogan, junior quarterback John Kolar, and the entire offense line will be back. The Timberwolves, who finished 7-4 this season, also will bring back parts of its defense.

North’s offensive line struggled early in the season but steadily improved as the year progressed. The Timberwolves lose a host of receiving targets and tight ends, but will be strong up front and should give both Kolar and Hogan continued opportunities to make plays.

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