Last week, the Bulldogs fell to crosstown rival Edmond North 25-17 and need to gain momentum heading into a tough district schedule. While Deer Creek isn't necessarily a historic rival, there are plenty of bragging rights to play for as Deer Creek sits just on the outskirts of Edmond. In last year's contest, the Bulldogs came out on top 48-31 in a game that included plenty of highlight plays from the Bulldogs.
The Bulldogs come into this game 1-2, but have played much better than the record indicates. Senior quarterback Blake Burgess and his receiving corps led by Seniors Brendan Mitchell and Chris Pope have been electric this year. In last week's contest against North, Burgess and Mitchell connected twice on 1 drive to cut the Husky lead to 22-17. The ‘Dogs couldn't convert towards the end of the game, but there is plenty of material to build on. The offense will try to exploit the Antlers' defense who gave up 496 total yards last week in a matchup against Edmond Santa Fe. Leading Deer Creek's defensive group will be Senior defensive back Dylan Diaz. Diaz is also a threat on special teams as he has already taken a kick return back for a touchdown. Look for the matchup between Diaz and Memorial's receiving corps to be the marquee matchup.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Bulldogs will be led by do-it-all Senior Chris Pope at defensive back and Seniors Jack Onarecker and Tre' Hill at linebacker. Pope was a difference-maker in last year's matchup against the Antlers as he had an interception and a 48-yard touchdown reception. Hill and Onarecker will look to lock down the run game, but don't be surprised if either player makes a big play defending the pass as they both had multiple interceptions last year, including a pick-six from Hill against Deer Creek. The Antlers' will rely on the arm of Hunter Freese at quarterback. Freese was named the player of the week for the state of Oklahoma for his performance against Southmoore in Week 1. The left-handed quarterback completed 22 of 31 passes for 266 yards and two touchdowns in the 21-13 upset. Coach Myers believes his defensive line group is prepared to get after Freese all night.
Deer Creek is led by 1st year head coach Wade Standley. Standley served as head coach for Ada prior to the move to Deer Creek. Before that, he led the Norman North Timberwolves from 2011 to 2014. In 2012, he led the T-Wolves to the 6A state championship game.
Chris Pope will look to continue his run of big plays on special teams as he has returned a kick past the 50-yard line in each of the past 3 games.
The Bulldogs and Antlers have faced off 3 times since 2012. The ‘Dogs are up in the series 2-1.
Deer Creek quarterback Hunter Freese is committed to the University of Kansas on a baseball scholarship.
The game will kickoff at 7pm and Deer Creek high school. If you can't make the game, make sure you follow @emhsbulldogs on twitter for live, in-game updates. Go Dogs!