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Norman North wins weather-delayed Crosstown Clash against rival Norman, 40-36

Big night from offensive standouts Kam Sixkiller and Chapman McKown enables Timberwolves to hold off Tigers.
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By Nate Aker | Photos by Michael Kinney 

NORMAN - Despite the tumultuous rainstorm forcing a near two-hour delay, an unbelievable amount of penalties and some sloppy play, it was a successful and proving Crosstown Clash for Norman North.

With a brand-new face at quarterback, the Timberwolves scrapped their way to a 40-36 victory against rival Norman at Harve Collins Stadium on Thursday night.

Senior Kam Sixkiller, taking over for former T-Wolves quarterback Gavin Frakes, led North to the Norman crown for the third consecutive year behind a three-touchdown performance and amassing more than 400 all-purpose yards. 

En route to its Clash victory, North came out of the gates on fire despite the onslaught of a downpour just moments prior to the start of the contest.

All eyes seemed to be on first-year starter yet highly-touted quarterback in Sixkiller, and deservedly so.

Sixkiller began his first-ever start in the season opener with an 18-yard dart across the middle to receiver Cole Warren, kickstarting a beautiful game-opening drive from the T-Wolves, capped off by an 8-yard touchdown rush from senior running back Chapman McKown.

McKown, a 5-foot-7, 160-pound Oklahoma commit, was stellar on Thursday night, garnering over 100 yards and three scores on the ground to provide much-needed stability at the running back position for North.

Even with McKown’s contributions, Sixkiller was seemingly the primary reason for the T-Wolves' victory, showing composure and poise as he threw for over 200 yards in the first half and a touchdown, while adding a score on the ground as well.

Following McKown’s rushing score, Sixkiller flaunted his confidence the next time down the field, connecting with senior wide receiver Cason Cabiness for a breakout 49-yard score, covering a massive amount of yardage after the catch.

Forcing another three-and-out from Norman after the T-Wolves’ relentless defense took down multiple Tiger ball carriers in the backfield, a 14-yard dime from Sixkiller and, ultimately, a 15-yard touchdown carry from McKown suddenly saw North up 20-0 after a missed extra point.

The Tigers wouldn’t be deterred, however, especially senior dual-threat quarterback Tias McClarty.

With the pressure put on Norman after a swift 20-point unanswered start from North, McClarty answered the call. Throughout the contest, the 5-foot-9 gunslinger utilized his acceleration and agility to outrun defenders and get past the edge.

As Norman was put in great field position after a botched punt and a personal foul, the Tigers found themselves at their opponent's 17-yard line. From there, McClarty rushed right and used that agility to find the edge, sprint into the end zone and put the Tigers on the board, cutting their deficit to 13, 20-7.

Holding North to a fourth-down stop the very next possession and taking over on offense, junior running back Devin Alexander proved to be immense for Norman, helping them march down the field with over 30 yards rushing on the series.

Then, McClarty found junior wideout Max Wilson for a glamorous toe-tapping 5-yard score to electrify the Tigers’ student section and make the score 20-14, inching closer and closer to the lead.

While the early momentum fully swung to the T-Wolves’ side of the field, the Tigers forcefully stripped it away from them when McClarty threw a 35-yard lob to a wide open JT Deaton for the touchdown with 6:15 left in the first half, marking a 21-0 unanswered run of their own.

But, Sixkiller wouldn’t go into the half just yet, as the 6-foot-4 signal caller punched it in at the goal line to make it 27-21.

Out of the half, McClarty displayed his crafty, shifty movements. Tossing defenders in a spin cycle and shedding three to four tackles, his knack to find space and squeak through found him in the end zone yet again to put the Tigers back up, 28-27.

As North took over, the combination between McKown’s explosiveness and Sixkiller's methodicalness and ability to make the right reads found the T-Wolves back in the red zone in a hurry, where McKown had to earn every penny to get his third and final touchdown of the night.

With the score at 33-28, there was little room for comfort for North.

So, Sixkiller took it upon himself again to spark plays, hooking up with senior wideout Jackson Lundquist for a 58-yard reception and an eventual quarterback keep from Sixkiller to notch the 1-yard score.

The Tigers seemed to bend but wouldn’t break. A three-and-out for Norman resulted in an interception from senior linebacker Montgomery Johnson, the first pick Sixkiller had thrown on the night.

As McClarty and the Tigers took over on their own 44, they were in prime position to close the gap again. But, once more, two blown up plays led to a fourth-and-long as Norman had to punt and hand the ball over to North.

Lo and behold, another savior on the Tigers’ defense, junior standout athlete Dax Noles, muscled his way for another interception for Norman between multiple T-Wolves.

That immense turnover led to a beautiful dot from a familiar connection between McClarty and Wilson. The 21-yard score in the back of the end zone brought the score to 40-34 with 8:36 left in the final quarter.

Then, disaster struck for North. A three-and-out forced by the Tigers compelled the T-Wolves to punt.

But as the ball was snapped, it went over the punter's head and went through the back of the end zone for a safety, making the score 40-36, with North still in the lead.

With Norman receiving the ball after the safety, the Tigers needed to capitalize. But, that’s easier said than done.

Two consecutive interceptions by North’s Camden Pratchard proved to be the demise of Norman, which concluded in a crushing defeat for the Tigers on a rainy night at Harve Collins Stadium.

Next, North will stay at home and face Edmond Santa Fe on Sept. 9, while the Tigers will head on the road to take on Moore the night before, on Sept. 8.