Special to The Sun
EL RENO —
The Deer Creek Antlers continued to remain undefeated and won their second consecutive district battle Friday night, but it didn’t come as easy as expected playing on the Indians’ home turf.
El Reno, now 1-4 with its lone victory of the season over Woodward, actually took a 6-3 lead going into the second quarter.
But it was Deer Creek’s punt return game that jump-started the Antler engine. Following a minus-9 sack by Chad Draper, kick returner Caden Sander squirmed 24 yards on a punt return to the Antler 46-yard line.
Deer Creek wideout Jared Rayburn got away from the El Reno corner and was hit in perfect stride by a Joel Blumenthal pass for a 33-yard touchdown to take the lead for good at 10-6. The Antlers galloped off to a 46-6 final, improving to 5-0, 2-0 on the year.
On the Antlers’ ensuing possession, Brennan Miyake picked up a nice seal block on a punt return in which Sander took full advantage. Sander got outside right and zoomed 47 yards to the Indian 17. On first down with six minutes left before half, Miyake plowed forward, breaking tackles heading straight for the end zone in a single play. Alec James nabbed the 2-point conversion pass from kicker Dillon Noble for an 18-6 cushion. Miyake, who pulled off double-digit runs of 11, 17, 17, 10, 12 and 21 yards in the contest, also hit pay dirt from a yard out late in the third which gave Deer Creek a 39-6 advantage.
Sander returned three punts for 81 yards and had a nifty 23-yarder complete with another big block from Miyake that was wiped out due to a penalty.
Blumenthal, who threw for 134 yards on 7-of-8 passes in the second quarter alone when the Antlers really got going, again connected with Rayburn — who had breakaway receptions of 27, 33 and 21 yards — for a 38-yard strike and also hit Marcus Coleman on a screen for a 13-yard scoring pass.
Kale Jackson hauled in three passes for 62 yards and fellow Antler Conner Farnham rounded out the TDs with a 21-yard jaunt into the end zone in the final period. He carried the pigskin just six times for 53 yards.
Deer Creek took a 3-0 lead on its first drive of the game on a Noble 35-yard field goal.
El Reno took the lead at 6-3 on a 5-yard pass from Bailey Denney to a wide-open tight end Mason Archer off of a scramble in the first period.