High school football: Noble wins defensive battle over Piedmont in season opener

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Aug. 27—It had been slow going for Noble.

The Bears were held scoreless in the first half and trailed Piedmont 6-0 in the third quarter. But things turned around in the third quarter, when quarterback Colin Fisher managed to scramble his way from what looked to be a series-ending sack on fourth-and-8 into a 35-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Harper.

The Fisher-to-Harper connection has been a staple of the Bears' offense for some time, and it came through when they needed it.

"They've been doing this for three years together. So they got a great relationship," Noble head coach Greg George said. "[Fisher] has a great relationship with all his wide receivers."

That's all it took for Noble to back in the game, and it brought the crowd back in it, too. The Bears rode that momentum into a 12-6 win over Piedmont in their season opener at Noble High School Friday night.

Fisher finished with 103 passing yards on 5-of-17 attempts with one touchdown and one interception; 66 of those passing yards came in the third quarter. Harper finished with 127 total offensive yards.

While the Bears' offense struggled, the defense gave the offense plenty of room for error as they were able to generate three turnovers in the second half with an interception and two fumble recoveries. They also got a stop on a fourth-down attempt that led to the Bears' second score.

It was only fitting that after holding Piedmont to zero points following the first quarter, the defense put a bow on things with a game-sealing interception on the game's final play from senior LT Taylor, who missed all of last season due to a knee injury.

"I thought he played outstanding for us," George said. "He's a safety that can run the alley. Great to see him back doing what he loves to do."

After the offense barely generated any yards on the ground in the first half, George switched things up after halftime and opened the passing game up more.

"In the first half, they were taking away the pass, playing man under halves with a five-man box," George said. "We just couldn't get anything going in the run game. We challenged them in the second half. The offensive coaches challenged them. They were able to come out and get moving with the football... When you've got a five-man box, you've got to be able to run the ball and we did that."

The game-winning score came on a three-yard quarterback sneak by Fisher on a second-and-goal to open up the fourth quarter, though Noble's two-point conversion attempt afterwards fail just short.

Piedmont was able to open up the scoring in the first quarter with a 17-yard run from quarterback Joshua Mars. Despite scoring early in the game, Piedmont was not able to generate a single point for the remaining 39 minutes.

Senior running back Jacob Anglin led the way for Piedmont with 78 total yards of offense.

"That was a great high school football game. People got their money's worth with that game," said George.

Noble will look to build off of this season-opening win as the Bears welcome in non-district opponent El Reno Football at 7 p.m. next Friday.

Clemente Almanza is a sports reporter intern for The Transcript. You can reach him via email at calmanza@normantranscript.com or on Twitter @CAlmanza1007