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High school football: Putnam City North players want to earn some respect

The school that produced Heisman Trophy winner Sam Bradford has been struggling of late with back-to-back four-win seasons. The poor preseason projections are motivating the Panthers.
by Scott Wright Published: August 19, 2012
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photo - HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL: Putnam City North's John Simon fights off Lawton's BJ Scott during a football scrimmage at Putnam City High School in Warr Acres, Okla., Thursday, August 16, 2012. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman
HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL: Putnam City North's John Simon fights off Lawton's BJ Scott during a football scrimmage at Putnam City High School in Warr Acres, Okla., Thursday, August 16, 2012. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman

“It has made a big difference having that year under my belt,” the senior said. “Last year, the tempo was so much different as a varsity quarterback. But after playing a whole year, I'm able to read more defenses and pick up the tempo of the offense.

“We have guys like Alex Clark and Robert Davis back at receiver, and a couple running backs, Tae Moore and Nathaniel Ocran. Those guys played a lot of varsity time last year, which has helped this year to bring experience for the younger guys coming up.”

Though most of the line is new, Clark sees promise in the offense.

“The coaches trust (Simon) more to make some of the throws, to make some of the calls on his own,” Clark said. “We're gonna be pushing the ball up the field, trying to get us going.”

But more than anything, strong motivation lies in erasing those preseason perceptions of Putnam City North football.

“We see preseason rankings and we know it's not a big deal, but it's motivation, knowing that a lot of people are doubting us,” Simon said. “We like being the underdogs. We have nothing to lose. If we win, we're gonna prove a lot of people wrong.

“If we work hard and don't win, then that's the outcome. But we'll go out and play our hearts out every game.”

by Scott Wright
Reporter
A lifelong resident of the Oklahoma City metro area, Scott Wright has been on The Oklahoman staff since 2005, covering a little bit of everything on the state's sports scene. He has been a beat writer for football and basketball at Oklahoma and...
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