NORMAN -- Football won't be on Broken Arrow High School's Thanksgiving Day menu this year.
Getting to practice on the national holiday is a player's dream and that was spoiled Friday night by sixth-ranked Norman North.
The Timberwolves eliminated Broken Arrow, 24-16, in a marathon Class 6A quarterfinal game at Harve Collins Stadium.
By winning, the 11-1 Timberwolves advance to next weekend's semifinal against Owasso, which ousted Norman, 35-15, in another quarterfinal matchup at Owasso.
In losing, the Tigers -- last year's Class 6A state runner up -- closed the season at 8-4.
"I told our kids, ‘More games are lost than won,’" BAHS coach Steve Spavital said. "Norman North is a good team and showed it."
The game, the first ever between the two schools, took better than three hours to complete and evolved into a passing contest between quarterbacks Coleman Key of Broken Arrow and Peyton Garvas of North.
Meanwhile, neither team mustered a running attack. The Tigers had only 52 yards rushing (on 28 carries) and the Timberwolves had just 5 (on 27 attempts).
It was a non-statistic that hampered Broken Arrow.
"Mistakes," Spavital said. "We made too many mistakes and they hurt us. We just didn’t play true Broken Arrow football."
Despite Key completing 26-of-36 passes (one intercepted) for 239 yards, Spavital said the junior was under duress.
"We didn’t do a good job protecting," Spavital said. "He (Key) really didn’t have a lot of time."
Broken Arrow, which never enjoyed a lead, fell behind 21-10 in the second half and got a defensive highlight to get back into contention.
When junior Diamond Hemphill intercepted a Garvas pass and returned it 34 yards for a score, the Tigers were in striking distance but never mounted a serious offensive threat the balance of the game.
North got its eight point lead inside the final minute after D.J. Hicks picked of a Key pass and returned it 77 yards to the Tiger 11. After a penalty against BAHS, Redford Jones kicked a 27 yard field with 57 seconds left.
The Tigers drove to midfield on three quick pass plays but the drive stalled and time expired.
Garvas finished the game hitting 26-of-36 attempts for 239 yards and the Timberwolves had 206 return yards.
The Timberwolves led 14-3 at half and owned momentum at the break.
North, however, had scored its first touchdown after its offense had lost 24 yards on its first possession on consecutive running attempts.
But it was the Timberwolves special teams that produced the game's first points when Jordan Evans returned a punt 90 yards for a touchdown.
That would prove to be the only lead NNHS would need.
Other than a 37 yard field goal by Ross Moore, the Tigers never had the advantage on the scoreboard.
North pushed its lead to the 14-3 midway through the second quarter when Gavras engineered a 71-yard, six-play drive. By half, Gavras was 14-of-21 passing for 172 yards and the Timberwolves had 188 total yards, 12 more than the Tigers.
Broken Arrow was its own worst enemy in the first half. The Tigers first three possessions reached the North 15, 46 and 20 yards and produced only the field goal by Moore.
In those three drives, Key completed his first six passes for 122 yards, including a 68 yarder to Austin Reed, and was 11-of-17 for 148 in the half.
Broken Arrow seemed to have found its gear on its second possession of second half when backup quarterback Blake Smith hit Cameron Wrenn for a 28-yard TD strike. That came one play after the Tigers recovered a Norman North fumble.
Austin Carmichael was BAHS’s leading receiver with seven catches for 95 yards and Cameron Wrenn had five catches for 61 yards. Garvas and Channing Meyer teamed up nine times for 91 yards.