NORMAN — After a night of torching what had previously been one of Class 6A’s top defenses with his arm, David Cornwell made one of the biggest plays of the night with his legs, then turned the game over to the right leg of his Norman North team’s senior kicker.
And Jake Edzards was true with his 43-yard field goal as time expired, lifting the Timberwolves to a 45-42 victory Friday night at Harve Collins Field.
“My number one sports moment, by far,” Edzards beamed after the game.
The night was filled with twists and turns and a wild, back-and-forth fourth quarter that saw 46 points go on the board.
North seemed to have won it minutes earlier when, leading 35-34 with less than 3 minutes to go, North’s Tyler Sipe forced a Bomber fumble to give the Timberwolves back the ball near midfield.
Just in a situation where running out the clock would win it, North instead marched quickly and converted a touchdown when Quan Hogan scored from 14 yards out with two minutes to play.
Trouble was, the score and Edzards’ extra point only made it 42-34.
And Midwest City, which made big play after big play in the fourth quarter, had another few in it. The Bombers drove 71 yards, with quarterback Brendan Brown hitting Aaron McKinney for a 31-yard score to make it 42-40.
Plagued all night by woes with its kicking game, the Bombers already were used to going for 2-point conversions. And it worked again, as Cedric Fair found Connor Kinsey in the back of the end zone to tie the game for a third separate time in the second half.
But two things stood true on this night — Midwest City never was able to take the lead, and the last team to have the ball in this shootout would win it.
Hogan set the Timberwolves up in Bomber territory with a 43-yard kickoff return before Cornwell’s 14-yard scramble out of bounds to the Midwest City 25 left three seconds on the clock and just enough room for Edzards’ boot, which narrowly cleared the cross bar and set off a raucous celebration.
“The wind was funky tonight,” Edzards said of the swirling breeze. “I was aiming a little left but it really didn’t move back much. Luckily it got there.”
Cornwell was spectacular against a Midwest City defense that had allowed only three offensive touchdowns its first three games. He finished 38 of 51 for 347 yards and four touchdown passes, including what appeared might be the game winner midway in the fourth quarter, a 36-yard strike to Payton Prince that had given North a 35-28 lead.
Prince finished with 109 yards on eight catches while the sophomore Hogan had another huge game, catching 13 balls for 90 yards and rushing for another 92.
While the numbers don’t seem much better for the North defense, the Timberwolves did make some gains there for much of the night. Midwest City’s only score in the first half came on a last-minute interception return that was fumbled into the end zone for a touchdown. The T-Wolves also forced two turnovers and sacked Brown four times on the night.
It’s a critical win to start district play for North, now 2-2 and 1-0. And it’s the first defeat for the improved Bombers, who are 3-1, 0-1.
“It was huge for us to come out and start district play like this,” Edzards said. “The first three games are important, but in the end they don’t really mean anything for the playoffs.”
The T-Wolves will head to Yukon next week to face the 3-1 Millers, a 41-28 winner at Lawton Eisenhower Friday.