Coming into the football season, Putnam City North coach Bob Wilson knew there would be good teams missing of the playoffs in a brutally tough District 6A-1.
After a 21-13 setback to a Norman North team that previously had just one win, Wilson is hoping his Panthers aren't one of those teams left behind.
"(The loss) makes the last four games really important," Wilson said. "Every week you lose, it puts your backs against the wall and it makes the next one important."
Wilson felt his team was flat Friday after an intense overtime loss to No. 5-ranked Midwest City a week earlier.
PC North struggled to run the ball against Norman North, carrying it an unusually low 14 times for 40 yards. But the passing game was sharp, with Jace James completing 28 of 39 passes for 310 yards and a TD.
But like in their early season losses to Putnam City and Mustang, the Panthers were hurt by untimely turnovers.
PC North (2-4 overall, 1-2 district) hosts Yukon (5-1, 2-1) Friday night at Putnam City Stadium.
DISCIPLINE KEY FOR SOUTHMOORE
Southmoore committed fewer penalties Friday night vs. Norman than the week before against Sapulpa, but the penalties came at the worst times. Southmoore only committed six, but two of the last three kept the SabreCats from completing their comeback.
"You can't turn the ball over in a game like this and be successful," Southmoore coach Chris Jensen said. "We've definitely got to take care of that."
Norman's drive to open the second half Friday was elongated by an offside penalty on fourth-and-2. The Tigers scored later on the drive.
When Norman drove the final eight minutes off the clock, it was aided by a key facemask penalty with just more than five minutes remaining.
"When you are on defense and you get a couple penalties, that's hard to overcome," Jensen said. "Offensive penalties are a little easier to overcome, but you can't get a facemask penalty. You can't do those things."
HAWKINS EMERGING FOR TITANS
It's not that Carl Albert coach Gary Rose didn't have faith in quarterback Taylor Hawkins, but the junior just didn't have as many opportunities coming into the season.
Hawkins was playing baseball all summer and didn't get the same reps as Dillan Dansby. But when Dansby went down in a Week 3 win against Duncan, Hawkins was moved to starting quarterback.
"They're both really good players," Rose said. "It hurt our defense because Taylor was our starting strong safety."
Hawkins has made big strides in the passing game, culminating last week. He threw for four touchdowns in a 72-0 victory against Southeast.
The third-ranked Titans face second-ranked Guthrie on Friday night.
QUALLS STAYING PATIENT WITH RECRUITING
Stratford senior Dalen Qualls is never in a hurry to score. The points just come.
Now, Qualls, who was the leading scorer in boys basketball the last two seasons at nearly 35 points per game, is taking the same approach with recruiting.
Southeast Missouri State, North Texas and Wichita State have shown strong interest, as well as other regional programs, but the 6-foot-1 sharpshooter is playing the waiting game when it comes to scholarship offers.
Despite his monster numbers — he has averaged 32.8 points over the last three seasons — Qualls still has to prove himself.
"But that's why I love the game," said Qualls, whose team is moving up to Class 2A this season. "Everybody wants big men. It's a shame I'm not 6-7."