Special to The Sun
Deer Creek’s Alec James scored three touchdowns and set up another with a 21-yard fumble return to the Northwest 1-yard line to help bulldoze the Knights by a whopping 66-12 count at Deer Creek High School Friday night.
James was hit in the numbers by quarterback Joel Blumenthal midway through the opening quarter. After the reception, James powered through a tackle and went the rest of the way for a 44-yard TD and a 14-0 cushion.
James also scored on a 20-yard screen pass from Blumenthal in the second period and gave Deer Creek a commanding 49-zilch cushion at the half on a 1-yard run. James scored on both of his receptions which totaled 64 yards and also rushed for 53 yards on just five touches, including a 25-yard jolt against an outmanned Northwest squad. The Knights suited up just 25 players.
Blumenthal accounted for six scores — four through the air and a pair rushing — but he and James could not have done it without the passing time and solid run blocking of the Antler O-line in left tackle Tyler Follis, left guard Hop Hoang, center Austin Loomis, right guard Brandon Wackerly and right tackle Clay Jarzombek.
Along with the two TD tosses to James, Blumenthal hit Kale Jackson on a curl-in pattern for 47 yards and Jared Rayburn from a yard out ensuing James’ 21-yard fumble return. Blumenthal also hit the end zone running from 20 yards and 18 yards away in the first quarter alone. He finished with 69 yards rushing on six carries.
Teammate Conner Farnham contributed 47 yards on the ground on eight attempts complete with a 4-yard scoring run. Other Deer Creek rushers included Jordan Hay (3-6), Erik Do (1-3) and Addison O’Neil (1-1).
Antler kicker Dillon Noble was on as usual, booting 9-of-9 extra points along with a 30-yard field goal.
Backup quarterback O’Neil hit on 3-of-4 passes for 25 yards. On the receiving end, Jackson backed up James’ performance with two snatches for 55 yards and the TD, followed by Austin Smotherman (2-17), Jacob Anderson (1-11), Rayburn (2-10, TD) and Michael Wilton (1-8).
The remaining Deer Creek touchdown came on Brady Lobue’s 7-yard fumble return. Also on defense, Caden Sander picked off a pass and Eli Hooks recovered a fumble.
Northwest picked up a pair of late TD runs of 10 and 73 yards by Lorenzo Alexander on the Antler reserves.
Deer Creek (8-1) travels to Bishop McGuinness (9-0) next week. The Irish defeated Guthrie 32-0 Friday night, and lead District 5A-2 after Deer Creek’s loss to the BlueJays last week.