Norman High’s district could finish a myriad ways on Friday but it’ll have a large say in what happens.
The Tigers (7-2, 4-2 District 6A-I-1) will finish the regular season at Edmond Santa Fe, which is vying for an outright district title. Meanwhile, an NHS win could shake up the playoff landscape as far as postseason positioning goes.
NHS, Santa Fe, Broken Arrow and Jenks could potentially finish in a four-way tie for first place if NHS beats Santa Fe and the other two win their respective Week 10 games.
The high level of parity isn’t all that surprising to NHS coach Rocky Martin, who thought the district was just as tough last season.
“Coming off last year, I thought everyone was really good in our district, I really did,” Martin said. “I thought it had the chance to do it this year also. That just shows how important each game is from top to bottom. It's shown that anyone can beat anybody on any given Friday night. So, you've gotta show up to play well.”
Santa Fe rightfully will have NHS’ full attention when the Tigers head to Edmond, especially on the offensive side of the ball.
The Tiger defense will have its hands full trying to contain sophomore receiver Talyn Shettron, who already holds college offers from Oklahoma State and Arkansas.
The 6-foot-3 Shettron was clutch in Edmond Santa Fe’s win over Jenks a week ago, and he’ll test a potentially short-handed Tiger defense.
Martin says linebackers Mason Lewis and Cedric McClendon, as well as safety Isaac Raymond-Brown, are questionable for Friday’s game.
The players were banged up in last week’s win over Westmoore. Martin thought his reserves were solid, though, in their relief efforts.
“Any time someone gets hurt, someone's got to step up and play and I thought there were a number of kids stepped in and did a good job,” Martin said. “And that's the thing with football. Any given play, someone could go down and so you got to get the next guy ready, and I felt that the guys who had to come in did a really good job.”
Stopping Santa Fe’s talented sophomore receiver Shettron, plus senior quarterback Jorgen Olsen, will be difficult for the Tigers.
Martin believes a big key for NHS will be limiting big plays, which it mostly did against the Jaguars last Friday.
“Overall, [Edmond Santa Fe] has a well-balanced offense,” Martin said. “They run the ball well. They throw the ball well and they do a lot of good things. It's gonna be a challenge and we've got to play sound in our scheme and we've got to tackle.”
The Tigers and Wolves will kick off at 7 p.m. in the pivotal district game.
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