NORMAN — Norman North senior linebacker Jordan Evans expected Southmoore's prolific offense to pull off a few big plays, and even piece together some strong drives in Friday's first-round playoff game.
“They're a great offensive team; they've got some great athletes on that team,” Evans said. “Of course, they're gonna have big plays and drives. But our job is to not get overwhelmed by those drives and just keep our mentality OK and handle our business.”
The No. 6 Timberwolves' defense did just that, stopping Southmoore's last four drives Friday on downs to preserve a 21-6 win on Harve Collins Field.
Next week, No. 6 Norman North (10-1) will host third-ranked Broken Arrow in the Class 6A quarterfinals.
The SaberCats (7-4) trailed 14-6 at halftime, but moved the ball effectively in the second half, reaching the Norman North red zone twice after the break.
The first time, Southmoore drove 70 yards to North's 11-yard line, where SaberCats running back Karltrell Henderson took a handoff on fourth-and-1 before being met in the backfield by North linebacker Lavonte Doxey and subsequently stuffed for a four-yard loss.
On Southmoore's next series, it drove 82 yards to North's 8 before quarterback Tre Edwards' fourth-down pass was dropped.
“Our motto after we give up a big play is, ‘Bend but don't break,'” said senior linebacker Jaxon Uhles. “That's what our defense did. We had big players make big plays tonight.”
Evans' big plays in the first half provided all the points Norman North ended up needing. He scored on a 10-yard run early in the second quarter to give the Timberwolves an early 7-0 lead.