NORMAN EARNS FIRST WIN OF SEASON OVER YUKON
The rain started coming down, the teams agreed to waive off the final five seconds, but nothing could dampen Norman High’s spirits Thursday at Harve Collins Field. The Tigers (1-5, 1-2 District 6AI-1) needed a win, and they got one, beating Yukon 36-22. After the players left the field, hugging their loved ones before heading into the locker room, a loud roar erupted, drowning out the pitter-patter of rain soaking the metal bleachers above. The scoreline was final, and the burden of being a winless team had been lifted off their back. “It’s so infectious,” junior Traevon Edmundson said. “You just want to be around those guys. It’s just so amazing. Everybody wanted to win and everybody came out ready to play.” Edmundson played as big of a role as anyone. Instead of being at his usual spot at cornerback, he was in the backfield, taking over for senior running back Dillon Dougherty, who suffered a season-ending knee injury last week. Dougherty had 35 carries in last year’s victory over the Millers (0-6, 0-2), NHS’ last win. Edmundson finished with 34 carries for 210 yards. In the red zone, where NHS had struggled, he had little trouble, punching in scores from 1, 9 and 5 yards out. “He stepped up,” coach Greg Nation said. “He’s been banged up since Week 2, just like the rest of us. We’ve been beat up with injuries. He was the kid. It was his night, he rose to the challenge.” While Edmundson stole the spotlight offensively, the defense did its part to keep NHS ahead. The Tigers had a shaky first half, allowing two big touchdown runs — 45 and 65 yards — to Yukon quarterback Ethan Scott. However, NHS also forced Scott to make some costly mistakes. He had three turnovers: a fumble recovered by junior Shayne Stuart, an interception by senior Dionta DeFreeze returned 69 yards to the 1-yard line and an interception by junior Max Cato. In the second half, NHS didn’t give an inch, allowing just 67 yards and four first downs. “Our gang tackling was better,” Nation said. “We let the quarterback get free on us a few times. That dude is a good athlete. He did a really good job. We quit letting him get outside the pocket so much. Just gang tackling was a lot better. We did a better job of getting to the ball.” In two drives to start the third quarter, the NHS defense took control of the game. Senior J.J. Scheid tackled Scott for a safety. The Tigers’ offense could capitalize on the great field position, but due to penalties, Yukon was driven back to its own 3. Ryan Haley punched in a 1-yard touchdown run on NHS’ next possession to go up 26-15. “We definitely felt, after that, that we could stop them every single drive,” Scheid said. “We just got energetic and we knew we could win the game.” It was a big night for NHS, but all the celebrations on the field, and off, underscored just how much of the season is left. Last year, the Tigers had just two games left to use the momentum of the their first win. This year, they have four. After its best performance of the season, where will Norman High go from here?
Norman Transcript | 10/7/2016
Norman Transcript | 10/7/2016