NORMAN — Cade Parker's performance on Thursday night was the sort of thing the Norman High defensive end grew up dreaming about.
The senior recorded five sacks in the Tigers' 38-31 win over rival Norman North to earn The Oklahoman's High School Player of the Week honors.
“It was incredible,” Parker said. “You grow up going to that game, seeing guys that are where I am now and wanting to be those guys. It was amazing.”
Going into Thursday's game at Owen Field, the senior was confident he and his teammates would dominate an inexperienced Timberwolves' offensive line and get to highly touted quarterback David Cornwell.
The Tigers' defense did just that, sacking Cornwell 11 times.
“Our whole (defensive) line could not wait to get out there and go play (Cornwell),” Parker said. “Continually hearing about how good he is just motivated us. We weren't mad, we didn't care. You can have whatever you want on paper, but it comes down to who puts the work in and shows up to play that night.”
The 6-foot-2, 225-pound Parker dismissed the notion that the Tigers felt like the underdogs against last season's Class 6A state runner-up.
“It wasn't an upset to us,” Parker said. “People may consider it that, but we knew what we were going to do. We didn't talk trash, we didn't gloat, or do any of that stuff. We just let our play speak for itself. We worked hard enough to make sure we would be the victors walking out of Owen Field.”
Parker's five sacks not only played a key role in the game's outcome, but also put his name in the Norman High record books, tying the school's single-game record.
“One of my goals for this year was to get the (Norman) single-game sack record at some point,” Parker said. “To start off tying that record really gives me a boost for the rest of the season.”
Parker also has his sights set on Norman's career sack record. He enters Week 2 needing 13 sacks to become the Tigers' all-time leading pass rusher.
“The overall record was another goal coming into the season,” Parker said. “I needed 18 to get it, so I thought if I can get at least two a game that'll take care of itself.”