MOORE — In the days of wide-open offenses and high-scoring games, the goal-line stand seems like an archaic idea of football past. And when a team executes one now, especially in a crucial situation, the impact is enormous.
Norman's goal-line stand late in the third quarter — stopping Southmoore on third- and fourth-down plays from the 1-yard line — was arguably the signature moment of Greg Nation's five seasons as Norman's head coach, and the defining moment in the Tigers' 41-28 win Friday night at Moore Stadium.
“That right there was what I wanted to instill from the time we got here,” Nation said. “It's Tiger football. There are some places, when people walk in to play football, they're six points behind, because they know your defense is gonna come play.
“That goal-line stand marked what we've been trying to build in these guys for five years, and it took hold tonight.”
Southmoore managed to move the ball well, gaining 450 total yards, but scoring was a different story. The Tigers' old-school defensive attitude showed up at key times to turn Southmoore away.
“We knew they were gonna come out strong, and we've been preparing all week to stop that offense,” said Norman junior defensive tackle Cade Parker. “That goal-line stand was a game-changer. It definitely brought the momentum back to our side.
“That's what Coach Nation has been trying to put in this defense — don't quit when you get inside the 20, just don't stop, no matter where you are on the field.”