A last-second Edmond Memorial pass to the end zone seemed promising.
It fell incomplete — although, a penalty flag the Bulldogs drew on the play would’ve negated any score.
Six points wouldn’t have done much, except spoil Norman High’s first shutout win of the season. And that was the last thing NHS senior defensive lineman Charles Prince wanted.
“It means everything,” Prince said of clinching the shutout. “It means we’re improving, it means we’re progressing in everything we do. It means we’re putting everything together. We’re not there completely yet, but it’s a sign we’re getting better at what we do.”
The fifth-ranked Tigers (5-1, 2-1 District 6A-I-1) put last week’s Broken Arrow loss behind them with a 41-0 victory at Harve Collins Field on Friday.
The Week 6 game could've taken a different direction, though, considering Edmond Memorial’s empty, yet productive first two offensive possessions.
The Bulldogs (0-6, 0-3) drove to the NHS 9-yard line on its initial offensive series but turned the ball over on an unsuccessful backward pass recovered by NHS.
Edmond Memorial’s second first-quarter drive reached the NHS 19-yard line but quarterback Carson Riney threw a pick to NHS senior Delsin Tsotigh.
Edmond Memorial didn’t threaten NHS much outside of the first quarter. The Tiger defense held Edmond Memorial to 90 total yards in the last 36 minutes.
NHS' mindset may have helped.
“We came in angry,” Prince said. “We came ready to whoop and kill. Just that simple.”
The offense also looked more like itself after posting 13 points a week ago.
NHS started the night with an eight-yard touchdown throw from quarterback Cade Horton to junior Jaden Bray on its opening drive. The Tigers then scored again in the first quarter shortly after Tsotigh’s interception.
Horton ran in a 55-yard touchdown to give the Tigers a 14-0 advantage — and 145 total yards of offense — by the end of the opening period.
NHS struggled to capitalize on a red-zone opportunity early in the second quarter, though, when it lost a fumble at the Edmond Memorial 10-yard line. The Tigers then punted twice before halftime.
“We had a good first drive,” Horton said. “We were clicking. We were completing the stuff we needed to and getting positive yards. But we really, in the first half, shot ourselves in the foot a couple of times.”
The Tigers made up for it with 27 second-half points.
Horton punched in his second rushing touchdown on NHS’ first third-quarter drive. He then found Bray on a 63-yard touchdown pass, which was called back for an illegal player downfield.
Bray scored on a 29-yard throw from Horton, however, four plays later.
Horton scored his fifth and final touchdown on a quick strike to senior Andrew Young with the game out of reach.
Young, who was roughed up on his first catch of the night in the third quarter, turned the throw into a 58-yard touchdown reception to put NHS up 34-0.
“No matter what the score, we always come out to play,” Horton said of NHS’ second-half performance. “Overall, we want to score as much as we can.”
Horton completed 27-of-35 passing attempts for 369 yards and rushed for 108 yards.
Bray accounted for a team-best 130 yards receiving on six catches, while Jonah Paden had 109 receiving yards.
NHS continues district play at Enid next Friday. Kickoff is at 7 p.m.