MOORE — Despite a tremendous performance from quarterback Jordan Bernhardy, Moore was unable to pick up its first win Friday when it traveled to Norman High. The Lions fell to the Tigers 45-30
“They’re a tough team to prepare for,” coach Greg Nation said. “And they came out ready and prepared for us. But we persevered, and our guys fought back.”
Moore jumped on NHS from the opening possession. The Lions reeled off several long runs in a row, utilizing the same type of option rushing attack that the Tigers themselves run. NHS held the Lions to a field goal on the opening possession, but things got worse from there. The Tigers tried a trick play on their first snap of the game and were stuffed in the backfield, and two plays later had squandered good starting field position.
That kept the momentum with Moore, which promptly took advantage. On third and long, broke an 84-yard run to put the Lions on top 10-0 over a stunned Tigers’ team.
Bernhardy would be a problem all night for the Tigers, even after they took control of the game in the second half. The senior finished with more than 300 yards of total offense but his game ended with a scary moment after he went down on a play with two minutes left in the game and had to be carted off the field. It was not immediately apparent what the injury was, but he was able to move his arms and legs and gave the crowd a thumbs-up as he was driven off the field.
“My understanding is that he will be fine for Friday’s game against Southmoore,” MHS coach Todd Watters said.
With the Tiger offense struggling in the first half, their special teams stepped up to keep them in the game. First it was Young, who returned a kickoff 90 yards to keep the Tigers in the game. Then, after NHS wasted a fumble recovery on the Moore 14 when the Tigers failed to convert a fourth-and-one, it was Kierstan Pendleton who made the next big play.
Pendleton, who was also the hero of last week’s Crosstown Clash victory after he jumpstarted the Tigers with a touchdown return on an interception, was at it again Friday night. This time he did it with a 50-yard punt return in the second quarter, giving NHS a 14-10 lead that it would never relinquish. The Tigers added a 46-yard field goal from Matt Hockett as time expired in the first half.
Things turned around in the second half. Young took the first snap of the half 61 yards for a touchdown to extend the Tiger lead, and though Moore stuck around, the Lions never got closer than seven points again.
Led by Bernhardy, Moore racked up 378 yards on the ground. Ryan Lujan added 73 yards on 16 carries.
Moore (0-2) will face Southmoore (1-1) at 7 p.m. Friday at Moore Stadium.