MIDWEST CITY — Carl Albert senior lineman Robert Lolofie said the Titans felt like Superman on Friday.
Quarterback Stevie Thompson proved nearly invincible, too.
The senior rushed for 340 yards and six touchdowns to guide the top-ranked Titans past No. 5 Deer Creek 42-24 in a display of brute strength to open district play.
“It's always the best thing when someone knows what you're going to do and they can't stop it,” Lolofie said. “You almost feel like Superman; it's great. Superman as a team.”
The Titans (3-1, 1-0 District 5A-2) repeatedly beat the smaller Antlers up front, carrying the ball 62 times for 434 yards, while throwing the ball just nine times.
It was a mix of misdirection plays and a whole lot of Thompson, who scored three times in each half.
“My line created huge holes for me and I saw them all,” he said. “It worked out perfectly.”
Thompson delivered performances similar to this last season while leading Carl Albert to the state championship. Friday, however, was nearly a surprise after his slow start to the season with just three touchdowns on the ground and three through the air.
But early in the week he was told things would change against the Antlers.
“We have kind of held back with him, trying to get him in shape and keep him healthy,” Carl Albert coach Gary Rose said. “We told him this week the ball's going to be in your hands to run and throw.
“He's a champion. He's one of the toughest kids we have. He was really tired, but never gave up or quit.”
The fatigue was never obvious, as Thompson's final touchdown came from 44 yards out with 1:09 remaining.
He opened the game with a score from 4 yards out and then put Carl Albert firmly in control with two TDs in the second on runs of 10 and 1 yards. The trend continued in the third when he scored on runs of 5 and 42 yards.
Rose saw a weakness in Deer Creek, and the Titans pounced.
“They're smallish and we're pretty big,” Rose said about the matchups up front.
“So, when you're bigger and pretty good, pretty soon you start wearing them down. I think that's what happened.”
Deer Creek (2-2, 0-1) tied the game in the first when Marcus Coleman scored from 1 yard out, but failed to really stop the Titans the rest of the way.
Coleman finished with 20 yards and two TDs on nine carries, while quarterback Caden Sander completed 22 of 33 passes for 275 yards, one TD and two interceptions.
But the night belonged to Thompson and the Titans, who are off to much better start to this season after being 1-3 at this point in 2012.
“It feels a lot better. Losing's no fun. I think the way my kids and our coaches responded last year was very, very good,” Rose said. I think we're a better football team now than we were last year.”