The first time Deer Creek touched the ball Friday night against Southmoore was on an 80-yard touchdown punt return during the home opener at Heflin Field. That momentum would carry through the night for an Antlers’ victory.
On the first play from scrimmage in the second half, transfer running back Tyler Travis went 80 yards for a score. Travis would have four touchdowns in the Antlers’ 45 to 14 win over the SaberCats.
Deer Creek’s first score of the game came when Dylan Diaz, a senior running back, took a Southmoore punt and broke tackles before galloping down the sideline for the season’s first TD, without a single offensive snap of the ball.
The punt was set up by Antlers’ defensive lineman Reed Eden who caught Southmoore quarterback Noah Peters and threw him for a loss on a third down scramble on the SaberCats’ first possession near midfield.
The first time the offense got on the field with the score 7-0, Travis, an Edmond Santa Fe transfer, and running back Lamorris Davis took turns making large chunks of yardage before Travis made the score 14-0 in favor of the Antlers at the end of the second quarter.
Travis had a second rushing touchdown in the second quarter and DC quarterback Gavin Houska had a touchdown pass completion for his first passing touchdown of his junior year.
Travis scored two more TDs in the second half and kicker Logan Ward tacked on a 3-pointer from about 27 yards out.
Travis gave credit to the offensive line for his four touchdowns.
“I mean it felt good, but really I just want to give all credit to my line. If it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t have scored and had good runs like that,” Travis said. “I mean they’ve been working since team camp in the fall all the way to game one and I really want to give credit to my line — Aaron Corbin, Jake Sexton, Caleb Johnson — they all stepped up for me.”
Travis described the 80-yard TD run to open the second half.
“I just saw the hole and I told myself I am going to take it to the house. It is funny because Gavin (Houska) said, ‘Hey score this touchdown for me.’ And I said, ‘I got this.’ And I did. When I saw the hole I just hit it fast and I scored. And it felt good but really I mean I want to give all the credit to the offensive line,” Travis said.
Southmoore scored in the second half on a pass caught by Trevor Eilenberger and a rushing Malcome Barnes.
The Antlers looked much improved from the 2018 season when the team was 4-6 in 6A District 2. Deer Creek Coach Wade Standley said the team will build on the win.
“It was a good first win. And you know it is step one on the ladder and we’ve got to continue to get better every week,” Standley said. “I Love it for our first game. I saw some really good things and we’ve just got to go back to work and have a great week of practice and get ready for week two and keep getting better each week.”