NORMAN — Norman junior quarterback Zach Long settled in early on Thursday night.
Long accounted for three first-half touchdowns, and Norman routed Del City 42-6 to end nondistrict play with a perfect 3-0 record.
“I was feeling really good in the first half, and we were executing great,” said Long, who is the son of current University of Kansas offensive coordinator Chuck Long. “We were just doing our thing. We know we're capable of doing that every game, and we went out and did it.”
Long completed his first four passes and finished 9 of 15 for 145 yards with a TD.
He marched the Tigers down the field on their first possession and capped the seven-play drive with a 5-yard TD pass to Rico Hogan on a bootleg play.
Long then scored on runs of 12 and 1 yards for a 21-0 lead at halftime.
“I think this was the first time I've really seen him settle in to a game this year,” Norman coach Greg Nation said. “I kept telling him all week, ‘let the game come to you.'
“He really read his routes well. We knew some of the routes were going to be open. Rico ran some great routes and caught some good balls.”
Hogan finished with three receptions for 64 yards.
Once Long and the offense started rolling, the Tigers' defense followed suit.
Norman forced four turnovers, including a 33-yard interception return for a TD by Taylor Wheat to start the fourth quarter.
“They did a heck of a job tonight,” Long said. “They swarm to the ball; they're fast and they create turnovers, and that's huge for the offense. They make the offense very confident and that's good.”
Del City (0-3) was limited to just 163 yards. Multiple times, the Eagles had promising drives derailed by penalties.
The Eagles' lone score came when senior Sheldon Abernathy intercepted a pass in the end zone and returned it 100 yards for a TD.
Arkansas commit Donovan Roberts finished with 92 yards and one TD on 18 carries for Norman.