The Edmond Memorial Bulldogs came into the second half down by three and under double pressure — it was Homecoming, and the Bulldogs were facing a Deer Creek team that has yet to find a win in Class 6A. They turned that pressure into results, outscoring the Antlers 27-7 in the second half to take a 48-31 win in historic Wantland Stadium Friday night.
The game started out with the teams trading touchdown runs by their quarterbacks, as Memorial's Grant Decker ran it in from a yard out and Deer Creek's Hunter Freese answered from just a yard further. Both sides then went to the air, as Freese connected with Zac Kerstetter for a 45-yard score and Decker hit Brendan Mitchell from seven yards out. A Tucker Brown field goal from 38 yards put the visitors up 17-14 before Antlers running back Preston Seibel threw to receiver Logan Huslig 35 yards to the end zone to put DC up 24-14. A Decker-to-Mitchell touchdown pass from 35 yards out closed the gap to 24-21 heading into halftime.
Memorial wasted no time getting it straight in the second half, as quarterback Grant Decker connected with starting defensive back/wide receiver Chris Pope for 48 yards right down the middle and a touchdown to put the 'Dogs on top 28-24 after the point-after kick, with less than a minute gone in the third quarter.
After the Memorial defense forced a punt, the offense used a long run by Delvon McNeely to break inside the Deer Creek 10-yard line. Moments later Decker rolled to his right and scrambled through traffic to score the Bulldogs' second touchdown of the half, putting them up 31-24 with 6:16 remaining in the quarter, after the PAT failed.
After the ensuing kickoff, the Antlers responded, as quarterback Hunter Freese zipped a pass to the left sideline, where receiver Zac Kerstetter left a defender flat-footed and ran 42 yards to paydirt. That closed the gap to 34-31 Memorial with 4:29 remaining in the third frame. After the teams traded defensive stands, Deer Creek looked to get a break when the Antlers' punt unit fell on a muffed fair catch. The Antlers marched from midfield to inside the red zone, but Memorial's Pope broke up a pass intended for Kerstetter, and moments later Bulldog defensive lineman Alex Eichler sacked Freese on fourth down to force a turnover on downs.
If McNeely's 35-yard touchdown run on the next possession didn't seal the win for the Bulldogs at 41-31, Tré Hill's 34-yard interception return certainly did, and Memorial left with a 48-31 homecoming victory. Memorial outran Deer Creek 232 yards to 130, while the yards through the air were even at 246 for Memorial and 254 for Deer Creek. Memorial will face Santa Fe next week at Wolves Stadium
- By Drew Harmon | Edmond Sun