The Moore American

November 21, 2012

Facing best in state sets Jags up for future

By Michael Kinney
The Moore American

MOORE — Westmoore coach Billy Langford might find himself more popular than normal this week from coaches around the state. As teams begin preparation for the Class 6A semifinals, his Jaguars are not only the lone team to have played Norman North, Jenks and Tulsa Union this year, but the only one to have beaten the Timberwolves.

“All those east-side teams, it’s mostly hype,” Westmoore’s Josh Morgan said. “When you actually get there, they put their pants on just like anybody else. When you go out there and play your heart out, you have just as much of an equal chance of winning as they do.”

In the third game of the season, Westmoore knocked off Norman North 29-16. The following month it traveled to Jenks where it lost 38-14. In the first round of the postseason, the Jaguars fell to the Redskins 17-14. Throw in a tight loss to Broken Arrow to end the regular season, and it becomes apparent that the Jaguars had one of the toughest schedules in the state.

“Our kids have went and played really hard,” Langford said. “They weren’t intimidated at all going into Broken Arrow, Jenks and Union, all on the road. Just went and played like normal.”

Langford said that the streak the East has isn’t because they have schools that are more talented. It’s pure math.

“I think mainly to me it’s a numbers game,” Langford said. “Jenks, Union, Owasso, Broken Arrow, talking bout the four best teams in the state, when you look at the numbers, it kind of proves itself. If someone gets hurt, they can put in someone who is almost as good as the guy who was starting. Whereas over here, with our numbers, we lose somebody like a Josh Morgan, we drop off considerably. They don’t have to worry about playing anybody on both sides of the ball. To me, those are the biggest differences.”

When it was announced last year that Westmoore would be in the district with Jenks and Broken Arrow on the east side, Langford looked at it as an opportunity.

“I don’t think our groups are going to be intimidated by them,” Langford said. “That’s a big part of it. Usually when Jenks and Union and Broken Arrow walk off the bus, they have a 7- to 10-point lead on you just because of the intimidation factor. I don’t think that is going to happen with our guys — hopefully, never.”

Semifinals set: After two weeks of home playoff games, Norman North fans will face a drive to watch their team face off against Owasso in the state semifinals.

The North-Owasso game will be played on Friday at Tulsa Union. The Class 6A semifinal and championship games are played at neutral sites, alternating between east- and west-side schools every year.

The other semifinal game, Tulsa Union-Jenks, will be played at Broken Arrow High School. The title game will be played at Oklahoma State University.

Wild play spurs key score: Owasso earned its 35-15 victory over Norman High on Friday night by making more big plays than the Tigers. But it was a wacky, rather than well-executed play, that set up the Rams’ second score of the game.

The play came in the second quarter with Owasso already up 7-0. On third down, quarterback Jaylen Lowe dropped back and threw a bullet across the middle of the field to Jake Burd. Burd bobbled the ball and watched it slip out of his hands toward the ground. But the ball happened to bounce off the back of his cleat and ricochet straight up and right back into his hands.

A few plays later Cole Neph caught a 13-yard pass from Lowe to put Owasso up 14-0.

Michael Kinney Follow me @eyeamtruth mkinney@mooreamerican.com