NORMAN — For much of the season, junior Cameron Westbrook's play at running back had allowed Edmond Santa Fe to use Phillip Sumpter sparingly on the offensive side.
The last few weeks, though, Sumpter has become a bigger and bigger part of the Wolves' offense.
Friday night against Norman, Sumpter was critical for Edmond Santa Fe, helping the No. 5 Wolves stay atop District 6A-4 with a 27-21 win over the Tigers at Harve Collins Field.
“There were times tonight when he was the only thing going for us,” Santa Fe coach Lance Manning said. “He's so good on defense that we have to be careful with that but he's done a great job for us lately.”
Sumpter didn't find the end zone, as all four Santa Fe touchdowns came on Justice Hansen passes to four difference receivers, but Sumpter ran for 108 yards and added 38 receiving yards, making play after play to keep drives alive.
“Whatever my role needs to be, that's what I'm going to do,” Sumpter said. “They've needed me on offense here at the end of the season and into the playoffs and I'm enjoying it.”
Edmond Santa Fe (7-1, 5-0) plays surging Edmond Memorial at Wantland Stadium on Friday with a chance to clinch the district title.
“It's going to be an exciting game,” Hansen said. “They were struggling early but they've really played well lately. We're looking forward to it.”
Three of Edmond Santa Fe's four scoring drives were of 80 or more yards, including a pair from 92 yards or more.
But the Wolves took care of business quickly on all four, with the longest scoring drive needing just six plays and only one first down.
“It really was a weird kind of game,” Manning said. “We knew what could happen with them. They're a really good football team and offensively, they're really hard to prepare for.”
The biggest strike came early in the fourth quarter, with Santa Fe clinging to a six-point lead when Norman pinned the Wolves at their own 7.
On the second play, Hansen laid the ball up near midfield for Trevan Smith, who took it 90 yards for a touchdown.
“That was all Trevan,” Hansen said. “They'd been playing man a lot and we did a little play action and it worked perfectly.”
Smith finished with six catches for 193 yards.
Hansen threw for 307 yards on just 13 completions.
Santa Fe's most impressive drive, though, didn't end in a touchdown.
The Wolves got the ball back with six minutes left after Norman's Imond Robinson scored to make it a one-possession game once more.
But the Tigers never got another chance, as Santa Fe killed the final 6:04.
The drive was kept alive early by Sumpter's seven-yard run on third and seven.
On several occasions on third down in the game, Sumpter looked like he was stopped short before spinning or breaking free to pick up key first downs.
“Just keep the legs churning,” he said. “That's what my dad taught me when I was little and its stayed with me.”