EDMOND — Edmond North picked up from where it left off last year in Friday night's season opener, playing punishing defense and displaying a relentless ground game.
The Huskies pounded crosstown rival Edmond Memorial, 44-0, at the Wantland Stadium as the Huskies rushed for 308 yards and didn't allow the Bulldogs to sniff the end zone.
“Our defense is amazing,” said Edmond North senior running back Marque Depp. “They haven't missed a beat.”
The Huskies' defense pitched four shutouts last season, including a 47-0 spanking of Edmond Memorial.
“I think we will be just as good or better than we were last year,” said senior linebacker Brock Byford of the Huskies' defense. “We were trying to beat the score from last year. We didn't achieve it, but I will take it.”
Edmond Memorial only threatened to score once, reaching the Huskies' 22 in the second half before the drive stalled on downs.
“Giving up zero points is always good,” Edmond North coach Jeremy Dombek said. “We've got a high expectation of defensive football around here.”
Edmond North also has a stable of running backs. The trio of junior Michael Farmer, Depp and junior Ezel McIntee combined to carry the ball 30 times for 289 yards.
“They are phenomenal,” Huskies' quarterback Luke Hoskins said. “We love every one of them. I can't tell you which one is the best. They are all great and we love using them. If one goes down we know we got two others to replace him.”
McIntee carried the ball 10 times for 116 yards and had the highlight run of the night, a 54-yard cross country romp in the second quarter, one of two touchdowns he scored against the Bulldogs.
Depp had 11 carries for 93 yards, while Farmer had nine carries for 80 yards, including two touchdown runs.
“When we get going, it's hard to stop us,” Depp said.
Opposing coaches likely will have to game plan for all three throughout the season.
“Marque is probably the most seasoned guy. He is the littlest of the three,” Dombek said. “He is very shifty but he is very strong and has got decent speed. He is probably the guy that gets it right now, sees it the fastest.
“Ezel knows multiple positions in the offense so we are able to spread him out. He is the fastest of the three. He has been clocked anywhere from 4.42 to 4.48. When he gets out in the open and decides to go, he is hard to catch up to. Michael is just a big, strong runner that is hard to bring down. All three are going to contribute to any success that comes our way.”
The one bright spot for Edmond Memorial was the running of sophomore quarterback Warren Wand, who reminded many Bulldog fans of a quarterback they had two years ago named Kameron Doolittle.
Not counting the negative yards against Wand from quarterback sacks, the young Bulldog signal caller rushed for 129 yards on 19 carries.
“He is exactly like Doolittle,” Byford said. “He is a real slippery guy. He has real good balance and if you don't wrap him up, he's eighty-eight and out the gate.”
However, the Bulldogs must find a passing game to compliment Wand's running ability. Wand was 0-of-12 through the air. The only pass Edmond Memorial completed Friday night was by backup quarterback Tyler Holcomb for 4 yards.
Hoskins was 11-of-16 for 105 yards, but scored twice on the ground. It was such a good evening for Edmond North, that when Hoskins missed a handoff to Farmer, he tucked it and turned into an 11-yard touchdown run.
Edmond North kicker Trevor Moore displayed a strong leg, constantly kicking it into the end zone as the Bulldogs had to start eight drives from their own 20. Moore also connected on a 33-yard field goal, but missed a 39-yard attempt when the ball hit the right goal post.