NORMAN — A muffed punt with 1:25 left in the game was the deciding factor in Norman's 26-21 district football victory over Lawton on Friday night at Harve Collins Field.
Norman seemed to have the game in hand, but the Tigers failed to pick up a first down and sent in its punt team. Lawton figured it would get one more crack at the Tigers' defense, but Tevin Foster, a wide receiver for Lawton, let the ball fall through his hands.
Norman recovered the fumble and ran out the rest of the clock.
“Yeah I got a little nervous,” Norman coach Greg Nation said. “They (Lawton defense) did what they had to do and then the ball went through the kid's hands and we were fortunate enough to get on it.”
Foster lay on the field for several moments in disbelief while Norman players celebrated.
Norman will host Yukon in the first round of the Class 6A playoffs next Thursday. Lawton, which could have made the postseason with a win, was eliminated. The Wolverines were ranked No. 1 at one point this season. Edmond Memorial, once 0-5, rallied late in the season and bumped Lawton out of the district's fourth and final spot.
Lawton drew within 19-15 by scoring on its first drive of the second half. Mike Warren scored from 28 yards, and the Wolverines added a 2-point conversion.
Norman came back for a 26-15 lead on Imond Robinson's 41-yard run.
“That sucker is quick,” Nation said of his running back. “You couldn't run him down in a phone booth. He is not only a good kid but a hard worker as well.”
With less than five minutes left, Lawton put together a quick drive and scored on Dallas Sealey's second touchdown run of the game.
Norman finished the game with 351 yards rushing. Robinson had 160 yards. Matt Hockett added 33- and 35-yard field goals for the Tigers.