TULSA — When Channing Meyer moved back to Norman from Japan during his freshman year, he had a premonition.
“I just, for some reason, thought we were going to win a state championship against Jenks,” Meyer said. “I don't know where that came from, I didn't even really know who the good teams were.”
Meyer and Norman North still have one step to go to fully achieve that vision. The Timberwolves advanced to the Class 6A championship game with a 49-42 semifinal win over Owasso at Union-Tuttle Stadium on Friday.
Norman North (12-1) advances to next Friday night's title game against Jenks at Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater.
Jenks beat No. 1-ranked Tulsa Union, which had won four consecutive 6A titles, in the other semifinal.
The Timberwolves will try to become the first West-side team to win 6A since 1995.
“I'm speechless right now,” Timberwolves linebacker Jordan Evans said. “We're going to state. Norman North is going to state. I don't know what else to say about it.”
Evans sacked Owasso quarterback Jaylen Lowe on the game's final play to seal the Timberwolves' first championship-game appearance.
Meyer came up with two big plays to help move his vision closer to fruition.
The teams combined to score 77 points in the second and third quarters, and Owasso had the ball inside the Norman North 40 on fourth down when the Timberwolves sent Meyer out on defense.
Meyer picked off Lowe's pass inside the 5 — a play Meyer would have been better served batting down but most importantly he kept the receiver from making a play.
On the Rams' next drive, Meyer batted down a fourth-down pass from the 11 to once again keep Norman North up by a touchdown.
“I was just playing my assignment and doing what the coaches told me to,” Meyer said of his last defensive play. “I wanted to step up when it looked like Johnny Football (Lowe) was going to take off, but I knew I had the guy behind me.”
Meyer was on the field for just three or four defensive plays.
“Our defense had a rough time at first with the deep ball, but they came up big at the right time,” Norman North receiver Jake Higginbotham said.
One possibly downside for Norman North could be the health of quarterback Peyton Gavras. He took a hard hit late in the game, was shaken up and did not return.
He threw for 395 yards and five touchdowns, including a pair to Higginbotham.
Higginbotham finished with 122 yards receiving. Corbin Cleveland added 129 yards and two scores receiving.
Norman North looked like it would cruise, building up a 21-0 and 28-7 lead in the second period before Owasso came back to take a 35-28 lead just more than three minutes into the second half.
The game was tied 42-42 late in the third, with Norman North finally taking the lead back just more than three minutes into the fourth on Higginbotham's 70-yard touchdown catch.
On the next drive, Meyer came up with the interception.