Make that two big wins in as many weeks for Norman North, which in all likelihood will mean a Class 6A district championship for the Timberwolves.
A week after dispatching Edmond North, No. 6-ranked Norman North rolled to a surprisingly easy 34-7 win over Putnam City North on Friday night at Putnam City Stadium. If the Timberwolves take care of business as expected against Moore and Lawton Eisenhower in their final two games, they'll enter the postseason as the District 6A-3 champion.
“We're getting better each week, and that's what we've got to continue to do,” Norman North coach Wade Standley said. “We had a great week of practice, and we have a mature group of guys who understand what the goal is. This time of year, it's almost like a playoff game every week to begin with. You've got to be ready week in and week out in this kind of district and our guys were.”
Norman North (7-1 overall, 5-0 district) allowed the Panthers to rush for just 70 yards — sacking quarterback John Robert Simon six times — and gave up only one big play.
Norman North quarterback Peyton Gavras was coolly efficient, completing 24-of-36 passes for 258 yards and three touchdowns and spreading the football among seven different receivers, including Jake Higginbotham, who had five catches for 86 yards.
From the Wildcat formation, Jaxon Uhles — usually a linebacker for the Timberwolves — did his best Blake Bell impression, taking direct snaps and scoring on runs of 1 yard and 3 yards. Scatback Bryan Payne led Norman North in rushing with eight carries for 69 yards.
“Our offense was able to come up with some big plays and defensively, I thought it was a complete game for us,” Standley said. “We were able to run to the football.”
Norman North scored on four of its first six possessions. The Timberwolves marched 70 yards in seven plays after taking the opening kickoff, and Uhles scored on a 1-yard run.
A 48-yard punt return by D.J. Gasso to the PC North 16 set up Norman North's second touchdown, a 4-yard scoring pass from Gavras to Channing Meyer, who caught seven passes for 40 yards.
The Panthers reached the Norman North 20 early in the second quarter, but lost the ball on downs. Norman North scored nine plays later on a 3-yard run by Uhles. The Timberwolves made it 28-0 on Gavras' second scoring pass, a 4-yarder to Payton Prince with 2:22 left before halftime.
A 16-play, 86-yard touchdown drive by the Timberwolves in the third quarter ended with an 11-yard scoring pass from Gavras to Tyler Sipe and effectively ended PC North's hopes, although the Panthers did quickly answer with an 80-yard touchdown pass from Simon to JaQuary Banks.
Simon completed 18-of-34 passes for 231 yards, while Banks had 10 catches for 177 yards for Putnam City North (5-3, 3-2), which now must try to hang on to third place in 6A-3 during the final two weeks. The Panthers have Lawton Eisenhower next week and Yukon in two weeks, the latter of which might mean the third and fourth playoff spots in the district.