Deer Creek came out and drove the ball all the way down the field for a 7-0 lead on Edmond Memorial midway through the first quarter Friday night at Deer Creek High School.
But with the succeeding kickoff, all momentum went back to the Bulldogs, who reeled off a convincing 40-10 triumph.
Antler quarterback Caden Sander, who rushed 21 times for 75 yards in the game, ran up the gut and then made a nifty move to the outside for a 19-yard touchdown run.
With the ensuing kickoff, Bulldog Waylan Anderson showed tremendous balance. Deer Creek kicker Dillon Noble booted the opening kickoff into the end zone for a touchback. But after the Antlers’ first score, Noble’s high floater was dying near the goal line. Anderson knew where he was, tiptoed inside the goal, made the catch, and sprinted hard up the middle. He then kicked it out right where he had just one man left to beat. That Antler stumbled to the ground and Anderson shot all the way 99 yards to pay dirt to even things out.
Then Memorial defensive lineman Kourtney Williams stepped up, sacking Sanders on two consecutive plays for a loss of seven yards on both occasions getting the ball back for the Bulldogs.
On the ‘Dogs’ first play, running back Warren Wand took a handoff to the right side of the line. As soon as he saw a crack, the Bulldog blasted 62 yards into the end zone and that was all the points Edmond would need for the remainder of the contest. Wand tallied three TDs in the game, scoring from two yards out in the second period and from six yards away late in the game for the 40-10 final. He set that touchdown up himself with the run of the night, a speed-and-stop show weaving across the field 63 yards. Wand averaged 9.3 yards-per-carry going for 214 on 23 attempts.
Noble popped a 31-yard field goal with 1:30 left in the opening stanza but the Antlers would begin mishandling kicks, luckily losing only three fumbles on the night or things would have been worse.
Memorial kicker, Justin Marcha’, got a 33-yard field goal to go through with just two seconds to play before intermission for a commanding 24-10 advantage. The field goal was set up by Anderson’s 38-yard reception he caught off of a dump pass just past center. Anderson led all receivers in yardage, going for 55 on three receptions. He also rushed for 45 yards on seven totes as the Bulldogs outrushed Deer Creek, 274-155.
Marcha’ nailed a 43-yard field goal in the third to build the cushion to 27-10 and he also chalked up a 60- and a 51-yard punt. But on the 60-yard crush, the return man slipped down and the ball bounded far over the Antler’s head. On the 51-yarder, it was another roller that the return man failed to cut off. Marcha’ was also 4-for-5 on extra-point attempts.
Deer Creek did not get a first down in the third quarter until 12 seconds were remaining on the clock, and that came off of a Bulldog unsportsmanlike 15-yard penalty.
Williams also recovered a fumble and fellow ‘Dog Ben Moore crawled on top of an Antler fumble on the first play of the second half. Teammate Kolt Van Meter recovered a muffed punt.
Edmond linebacker Zeke Mammen slapped down Sander for a minus-1 sack and fellow Bulldog Ashton Antwine stepped in front of a passing lane to break up a pass.
Defensively for Deer Creek, Eli Hooks posted a pair of sacks for losses of five yards both times and also made a tackle on a reverse play for minus-6 yards. Antlers Daniel Smith (-6) and Blake Landon (-2) also picked up sacks while Sander stuck out his arm and batted away a pass from his safety position near the sideline.
Antler receiver Cole Verble, who led Deer Creek with four receptions for 35 yards, also returned a kickoff 36 yards. Deer Creek running back Marcus Coleman finished with 71 yards rushing on just 13 attempts.
The remaining TD was scored by Memorial’s Luke Booker from a yard away in the fourth quarter.