The record didn't matter. Putnam City North prepared last week for its game against Midwest City as if it was playing one of the state's legendary programs, not a one-win team.
And that preparation turned out big results — very quickly, thanks to Tae Moore's running ability.
The PC North senior running back exploded for four touchdowns and 161 yards on 11 carries in the first eight minutes of the game. Moore, 5-foot-5 and 164 pounds, added a receiving TD later and finished with 217 total yards to earn The Oklahoman's Player of the Week honor. The Panthers bombed Midwest City, 63-27.
“We practiced hard all week to get ready for a big game,” said Moore, who has rushed for 579 yards and eight touchdowns, with another 271 yards and three scores receiving. “They're Midwest City. We just did a good job with blocking, getting hands on their defense.
“The offensive line has been giving me big holes to run through. If it wasn't for them, I wouldn't be getting in the end zone.”
That offensive line, which had been considered a question mark because of its inexperience before the season, has continually improved, putting the Panthers in position to get back in the Class 6A playoffs after a two-year absence.
“We've had a couple injuries up there and some other kids have stepped up,” quarterback John Robert Simon said. “They're playing well and getting better each week.”
After Friday's win, coach Bob Wilson praised Simon's game management, primarily with some of his checks at the line of scrimmage last week, changing into plays that turned out to be more productive than the original calls would have been.
Friday's win was big for several reasons. PC North (4-2 overall, 2-1 District 6A-3) has already matched its win total of the last two seasons. The Panthers are close to assuring itself of a playoff spot with some winnable games ahead. PC North hosts U.S. Grant (1-5, 0-3) at 7 p.m. Thursday at Putnam City Stadium.
“We want to be the class that changes stuff around here. We want to be the class that gets us to the playoffs and ends this drought,” Moore said. “A lot of people don't believe in us, and we want to show them that we can do it.”