GUTHRIE — Guthrie keeps finding ways to win.
Down by a touchdown with less than 1:30 remaining, the defending 5A state champions drove down the field to force overtime, then came out with a 42-35 win over Deer Creek on Thursday at Jelsma Stadium.
“I know my heart's in good shape because if it wasn't, it'd be gone after that one,” Guthrie coach Rafe Watkins said.
Deer Creek looked like it went ahead with less than two minutes to go in the game on Dillon Noble's 36-yard field goal.
But the Antlers chose to accept a roughing the kicker penalty, taking the points off the board.
It immediately paid off on Alec James' 9-yard touchdown run on the next play put Deer Creek ahead.
“Honestly, I'm just thinking, ‘Can we do this two home games in a row?'” Guthrie quarterback Bryan Dutton said.
Two weeks ago, Dutton led the Bluejays to a come-from-behind 21-17 win over Carl Albert at home.
After a pair of incompletions, Dutton started to pick apart the Antlers' defense, completing four passes in five plays to move the ball to the Deer Creek 20.
On third and 7 from the 17, Guthrie went to the same play — though out of a different formation — that it used to beat Carl Albert.
Instead of a touchdown, the Antlers drew a pass interference call. Guthrie followed the penalty with an 8-yard pass to Cody Reihs to tie the game with two seconds left.
“He's a heck of a quarterback,” Guthrie running back J.T. McFadden said of Dutton.
In overtime, Dutton scored on the first play, then Guthrie forced a Deer Creek fumble on the Antlers' second play to seal the wild victory that extends Guthrie's winning streak to 22.
“It's one for the ages,” Dutton said.
Dutton ran for three touchdowns and threw for 263 yards and two scores.
“That little rascal is just incredible,” Watkins said. “He had some rough moments but he's a very competitive player. Sometimes it's the best thing about him and sometimes it's the worst but the last drive was just incredible the way he was patient and let things come to him.”
On the other side, it was a tough pill to swallow, especially after the late penalties and a play on the final drive where Deer Creek thought it had recovered the football in what would've been a game-winner.
“We're the better football team,” Deer Creek coach Grant Gower said. “It just didn't work out. I'm going to leave it at that.”
Guthrie (8-0, 5-0 in 5A-2) will play another undefeated team next week in McGuinness, barring a stunning upset by Northwest on Friday.
“It's going to be tough,” Watkins said. “This was a physical, physical football game that took its toll. Deer Creek is everything they've been billed to be.”
Deer Creek (7-1, 4-1) will play Northwest next week before finishing the season against McGuinness.