High school football: Week 1 storylines ahead of Crosstown Clash, Moore War

Kyle Phillips / The Transcript

Norman High's Joe Willie runs with the ball during the Tigers' game against Stillwater on Aug. 29 at Harve Collins Field. Willie was one of the Tigers' most reliable options on offense in 2018.

1. Expectations high for NHS: The Tigers went from a 1-9 team in 2017 to a 6-5 playoff team in 2018. Coach Rocky Martin has a solid group, which includes senior linebacker Cole Thompson, who's committed to Oklahoma State, and senior quarterback Cade Horton, who's committed to Oklahoma. The pieces are there for another run at the postseason but they'll have to get through a Norman North team seeking revenge from last year's 28-12 NHS win. The big test for NHS is keeping the T-Wolves' run game from managing the clock and getting its own offense going early.

2. North tries turning it around: Norman North enters Year 2 under Justin Jones, who coached the Timberwolves to a 2-8 record last season. Jones has more of a solid foundation on offense this season with Blaine Martin and Gabe Trevillison back at running back. Plus, the T-Wolves have found a go-to quarterback in Jackson Remualdo. North loses quite a few pieces on defense but Jones will take over the defensive play-calling and says the T-Wolves have installed a few schematic tweaks to its 3-4 defense this offseason.

3. Streak on the line: Could this be the year Moore finally ends its Moore War drought? Westmoore has won the rivalry game every year since 2002, including last year's 35-6 victory. The Lions seem to have the senior class, led by Kansas commit Daniel Hishaw, to pull off a victory but the closest the graduating class has come to the Jaguars is a 10-point loss in 2016. Hishaw gives Moore a solid chance, but he'll have to avoid taking sacks all night from Westmoore defensive end Nikale Davis, who's received FBS offers from Tulsa and Memphis. Jaguars quarterback Dayton Wolfe is a good adversary too.

4. Southmoore's quarterback battle: A different Moore school is going into Week 1 with a quarterback battle. Last year it was Westmoore, which turned out pretty well for the Jaguars, who turned to Wolfe. This year, Southmoore's trying to find its next signal-caller. Junior Denver Blatt and sophomore Noah Peters are the contenders after Jaedyn Scott moved from quarterback to receiver this offseason. It wouldn't be unprecedented if both split time in the SaberCats' season opener against Deer Creek at 7 p.m. on Friday.

5. Austin Fisher's quarterback debut: Noble will begin its season at home with Newcastle on Friday. The Bears are trying to get back to the postseason after a 4-6 campaign last year but face just as difficult of a district. Coach Greg George is turning to senior Austin Fisher to quarterback his offense. George believes the wide receiver-turned-quarterback can provide a different element to the Bears' attack. Fisher should have the chance to carry the ball often, and has come along nicely at fall camp at the position. He'll finally get to put it to the test, however, against the Racers.

— Joe Buettner

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