By Michael Kinney
The Moore American
MOORE — Todd Watters knew his team couldn’t afford to make mistakes. Playing Edmond North was going to be difficult enough, but if Moore was going to pull off the upset, it had to be efficient and careful.
Unfortunately for the Lions, they were neither. On a night it turned the ball over five times, Moore fell 49-16 to the Huskies at Moore Stadium.
“You can’t do that and expect to be in the ball game,” Watters said. “You can’t turn the ball over, you can’t give up the big plays. Offensively, we are still making silly penalties. You just can’t do that against Edmond North and still expect to stay in the ball game. We have to play an almost error-free ball game to play with those guys.”
The loss drops the Lions to 2-3 in the District 6A-3. With only two games left against Norman North and Midwest City, its prospects of making the postseason are becoming slimmer.
“We have to keep our confidence,” Harris said. “Keep playing hard and come out and shock Norman North.”
The Huskies reached the end zone on the game’s first possession. It methodically worked its way 85 yards down the field before it hit pay dirt. Michael Farmer scored from nine yards out as he carried half the Lions’ defense on his back across the goal line.
Harris fumbled the ensuing kickoff return, and North scored three plays later to take a 14-0 lead.
The Lions’ issues with holding onto the ball came back to bite them again in the second quarter as it was driving inside North territory. After Colin Webb completed a pass to Carlton Robertson, the junior fought for the first down but then loss control of the football. The Huskies recovered but were unable to do anything with it as the Lions’ defense held firm.
Moore’s offense finally got clicking in the second quarter when Ryan Lugan snuck out of the backfield and Webb connected with him for a 56-yard pass play. It set up a Trevor Hunt 25-yard field goal.
The Lions forced the Huskies to punt, and it looked like it would have a chance to get another score before halftime. However, Harris’ nightmare first half continued with his third fumble of the evening. It was the team’s fourth turnover and it allowed Farmer to score again to put the Huskies up 21-3 at half-time.
“We had five, and I had three of them myself,” Harris said. “I’m mad at myself. But you have to get over it and go on to the next play.”
The second half started much the way the first half did. Webb tossed an interception that was returned for a touchdown. The Huskies bolted to a 28-3 lead.
The Huskies’ Luke Rossi was injured on a play and while waiting for the stretcher, players from Moore and North met at the 50 to pray together. The first play after the 20-minute wait Webb hit Jordan Bernhardy for a 28-yard TD pass. The Lions closed the gap to 28-10.
“It was real big,” Bernhardy said. “Any pass play is a big motivator for us. Any big gain, really. The offense is real capable. We can run and gun, really.”
But North answered with Farmer’s third touchdown of the night.
After Webb left the game with a possible concussion, Harris took over at quarterback and scored early in the fourth quarter. But that would be as close as the Moore would get the rest of the night.
“Still, you look out on the football field and see our guys just battle, scratch, claw and fight to the very end,” Watters said. “We can’t be more proud than that for that reason.”