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Norman High’s Devin Alexander runs with the ball Oct. 29 during the Tigers’ game against Broken Arrow at Harve Collins Field.

This season, Norman High’s offense has made its living in the running game.

The Tigers often use a read-option attack, and they’ve found success with it more often than not. It’s typically led by quarterback Tias McClarty, and he’s usually flanked by two other primary options in the backfield — Xavier Shackelford and Devin Alexander.

Alexander saw the bulk of the backfield work last week against Broken Arrow, and it was his 21-yard touchdown in the second quarter that actually gave the Tigers a third-quarter lead. Broken Arrow eventually came back to win the game, but Alexander was a key reason why NHS remained competitive.

Alexander finished the game with 104 yards and a rushing touchdown on 21 carries, as Broken Arrow struggled to defend the McClarty-Alexander read option for most of the night.

McClarty praised Alexander after the game for his effort and commitment to the team after the loss.

“It’s beautiful — he gets a break, I get a break,” McClarty said. “It’s just back and forth, that’s all it is. They’ve got to key on somebody… He’s a beast.”

He’s been consistent for the team all season. Against Westmoore, Alexander finished with 101 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries, including a 56-yard in the fourth quarter.

In the win against Edmond Memorial last month, he recorded 122 yards and two touchdowns on 14 carries.

Alexander has had moments of brilliance this season, and Alexander and McClarty have developed a chemistry that the Tigers’ offense has needed.

“Obviously Tias and Devin are tremendous athletes and they run hard,” NHS coach Rocky Martin said after last week.

With the Tigers’ season on the line at Edmond Santa Fe tonight, the Tigers will need even more from McClarty, Alexander and Shackelford if they want to keep their postseason hopes alive.

Jesse Crittenden is the sports editor of The Transcript and covers OU athletics. Reach him at jesse@normantranscript.com or at 405-366-3580

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