Merrell expected the Crusaders to play well by the way they practiced last week.
“I saw it coming on Wednesday,” he said. “It was the best practice we had all year. I had a lot of confidence our kids were going to play well.”
ADAMS LEADS PIEDMONT
It was big night for Piedmont's new quarterback and tight end in the Wildcats' 29-26 win over Harrah on Friday night. Piedmont bounced back after getting drubbed by Deer Creek in the season opener.
Junior Brett Adams, who took over the signal-calling duties this week, was 17 of 28 for 279 yards and four touchdowns.
His favorite target was sophomore tight end Steffen Funkhouser, who had 12 receptions for 235 yards and three touchdowns, setting a school record for receiving yards.
“We got some pretty decent records so that is saying quite a bit,” Piedmont coach Craig Church said.
Funkhouser's 235 yards broke wide receiver Christian Foster's record of 223 yards set last year.
“We have been excited about him since the first day we saw him,” Church said of Funkhouser, who played on the varsity as a freshman but saw limited action because of a broken foot.
After losing two projected starting quarterbacks before the season due to injuries, Church has now settled on Adams, who plays linebacker on defense and was a backup quarterback last season for the Wildcats.
Church said Adams' ability to throw the football makes the offense more balanced.
“He is a real cagey kid,” Church said. “He is calm. He doesn't get rattled. I think he is going to do a great job. The kids rallied around him (Friday) night. It was pretty exciting to watch.”
NATION EXPECTS POINTS FROM KICKER
Norman struggled in Thursday night's 28-10 victory over Moore in the second half, failing to score.
During the struggles, kicker Matt Hockett missed a 36-yard field goal that left Norman coach Greg Nation shaking his head after the game.
“When we put him out there on the field, he's got to give us three points and he didn't do that tonight,” Nation said. “That's his job and I think the biggest thing is he's got to understand when he goes out on the field it's kind of like we're demanding three points from him.”
Hockett did make all four PAT attempts.