Special to The Sun
There’s proof of improvement in Edmond Memorial’s football season, but it’s Edmond North’s that will go on.
The Huskies toppled the Bulldogs, 34-7, Thursday night at Wantland Stadium in a Class 6A first-round playoff game behind two 100-yard rushers and a stout defensive performance. The win moves North (10-1) into a state quarterfinal matchup on the road against the Jenks Trojans, who lambasted Booker T. Washington 59-14 Friday night.
Memorial finishes at 4-7.
The Huskies held the Bulldogs to only 158 total yards, while getting 111 yards rushing from Michael Farmer and 102 from Marque Depp.
“Our physicality up front made a big difference,” EN head coach Jeremy Dombek said. Our offensive line played great. They threw stuff at us we hadn’t seen, with multiple looks, but our guys handled it well.”
The game was closer than the final score indicated, as Memorial led for most of the first half and still trailed only 14-7 at the break. That was vastly different than the season-opener, which North won, 44-0.
Dombek was adamant the difference was the improvement of the Bulldogs.
“We turned the ball over when we had a chance to score in the first half, and you just can’t do things like that in the playoffs,” he said. “But give Memorial credit. They’ve gotten better. We knew they’d come out here fired up. They’d won four of their last five games and we knew they’d be confident. We didn’t overlook them at all.
“A lot of teams that start out 0-5 would tuck their tails, but they made the playoffs in a really tough district and gave us a good game.”
Each team’s punter had trouble kicking into stiff winds the entire contest, and a 5-yard punt set the Bulldogs up at the North 30 on their first possession. Sophomore running back Warren Wand rushed into the end zone from 15 yards out three plays later, and Memorial had an early 7-0 advantage.
Two lost fumbles stymied North’s progress in the first half, but the Huskies finally got on the board with an 11-yard run from Depp with 5:28 left in the first half. The touchdown was set up by a 50-yard pass from Luke Hoskins to Jarech Page.
North scored another touchdown with 3:05 left in the half when Hoskins faked a fourth-down handoff and scampered 17 yards. The Huskies held that 14-7 lead at the break.
North’s defense and offensive rushing attack really began to take over in the second half. After linebacker Sam Delzell forced a turnover on a quarterback sack, Farmer broke free up the middle for a 35-yard score that made it 21-7. Then, early in the fourth, Luke Rossi somehow got wide open behind the Bulldog secondary and hauled in a 38-yard touchdown reception to bring the lead to 28-7.
Farmer capped his night with a 1-yard touchdown plunge to finish the scoring.
Wand, who played quarterback during the first meeting, finished with 86 yards rushing on 26 carries. However, after picking up 44 yards on his first five carries, he managed just 19 yards on his next 18 carries, as the Husky defense started to contain.
“We just settled down. It was difficult at first, because we don’t have anyone in practice who can simulate him,” Dombek said. “The first time we played them, we knew where he was, because he was taking all the snaps. He was more dangerous tonight.”