NORMAN — Wade Standley has seen few players be able to dominate a game defensively that way Jordan Evans can.
The Norman North coach has been around his share of defensive playmakers during his time at Tulsa Union, Liberal, Kan., and the last two years at Norman North.
“He was a force in the game,” Standley said of Evans. “I've only seen a couple other guys who could just take over a game. R.W. McQuarters could do that. Rocky Calmus could do that. Jordan has that same type of ability.”
Evans helped the Timberwolves reach the Class 6A championship game, with 94 tackles and nine sacks.
Evans is The Oklahoman's Big All-City Defensive Player of the Year.
“We set the standards that hopefully Norman North will keep up for awhile,” Evans said of this year's Timberwolves. “It was great to be part of the team that brought that success here.”
Evans wasn't the top tackler on Norman North's defense.
That recognition went to fellow linebacker Jaxon Uhles with 163.
Evans wasn't the Timberwolves' biggest sack artist either.
That would be defensive end Evan Coles, who had 12.
But there was no doubt Evans was the biggest piece in Norman North's defense.
“Defensively, they just ran away from him all the time,” Standley said. “That was a huge part of our defense, though.
“We knew that he was going to take away one side of the field. That allowed us to do some different things defensively, know that they're going to either go away from him or he was going to make the plays on that side of the field.”
Evans, who committed to Oklahoma just before the championship game, was frustrated at times with his lack of chances to make plays.
“Some games kind of seemed boring, but I guess that means they respect me,” Evans said. “And I knew those other guys were going to make plays on the other side.”
Evans was also a huge part of the offense and special teams.
In Norman North's season-opener against Norman, with the Timberwolves trailing 20-17, Evans scooped up a kickoff and returned it 71 yards to set up what proved to be the game-winning touchdown a play later.
“I think that kick return was my favorite,” Evans said. “I knew we had to get left, so I started going that way and then saw a cutback lane to the right and followed it.”
Evans continually found ways to make plays happen in the return game.
He had special-teams touchdowns in each of the Timberwolves' first three playoff games.
“I know a lot of times, maybe it wasn't designed to go to him but we put him in positions to be able to freelance a little bit to get to the ball,” Standley said. “I was certainly glad he kept fielding them.”
Evans returned five kicks for touchdowns.
In a second-round win over Broken Arrow, Evans had a 90-yard punt return for a score and had four of his sacks as well as forced two fumbles.
“He was an absolute force in that game,” Standley said.