CNHI News Service
The big plays just kept on coming. And so did the turnovers. And the points. And then some more big plays.
In the end, it was Norman North that came up with the most, and it was the Timberwolves who went home with a 49-27 upset victory over No. 3 Edmond North.
It was a wild game from start to finish. Beginning with the first snap for Norman North, a 48-yard strike from Peyton Gavras to Jake Higginbotham deep down the field that set up a 16-yard touchdown pass to Payton Prince, to the game’s final minute, when Gavras again found Higginbotham, this time for a 21-yard score on a fourth-down play that put the finishing touches on the win, Norman North simply found ways to get it done.
It was a game that featured six turnovers between the squads, a game in which Norman North overcame six fumbles to pull away from a team ranked as highly as No. 1 in some polls. Even when Norman North made a mistake it worked out for them, like when Gavras had a fourth-quarter pass tipped twice by Huskies defenders before it fell into the waiting hands of Prince for a touchdown score.
“It was just an awesome game,” Gavras said. “Right now, there are no words for it. The energy was great the entire time, and it was one of those games you just love to be a part of.”
More than that, it was a game that firmly established Norman North (6-1, 4-0) as the favorite to win District 6A-3. The T-Wolves had previously been tied with Edmond North (6-1, 3-1) at the top of the district, and with both teams favored to beat the rest of the competition, Thursday’s game was seen as a de facto championship game.
If it was, Norman North made a case to be considered the best team in the west. The T-Wolves fought through multiple injuries and never trailed in a victory over Edmond North, a team thought to be the top team on this side of the state after a 26-13 victory over Edmond Santa Fe.
“It’s a big win for us in district,” Gavras said. “It puts us in control of our own destiny.”
Norman North took to the air early and often, with Gavras and his receiving corps putting on a show. He completed his first five passes for 126 yards as Norman North jumped out to a 14-0 lead. He finished with 391 yards and five touchdowns, with six passes of more than 25 yards.
Edmond North fought back, pulling within seven on a Michael Farmer touchdown run shortly before halftime.
But Norman North had another big play up its sleeve. This time, it was Jordan Evans, who returned the ensuing kickoff 89 yards down the sideline to make it 21-7 at half.
“The guys up front made a perfect wall, and I just ran through it,” he said after the game. “There were a couple really good blocks down the field.”
Edmond North kept it within striking distance in the second half, playing much of the game down just a touchdown. But the Huskies couldn’t stop Gavras from hitting his receivers deep down the field, including wideout Higginbotham, who had five catches for 189 yards and two touchdowns, and tight end Payton Prince, who caught five balls for 96 yards and a pair of scores, including the double-tipped ball in the fourth quarter that put Norman North up 35-21 late in the game.
Four turnovers doomed Edmond North, which had several promising drives stopped by turnovers. Farmer finished with 56 all-purpose yards and three scores for Edmond North.