MIDWEST CITY — The Carl Albert Titans and the Deer Creek Antlers one thing in common heading into Friday night's Class 5A district showdown at Harris Field.
Both schools' only losses came at the hands of undefeated Guthrie.
But that is where the similarities ended as Carl Albert's well-oiled machine dismantled Deer Creek, 35-0.
“We were expecting them (Deer Creek) to bring a lot of pressure and be pretty tough from what our coaches were telling us all week,” said Carl Albert receiver Alex Polston.
But the Titans were dominating in every way. Defensively, Carl Albert (8-1) held Deer Creek (7-2) to just 104 yards total offense and minus-3 yards rushing on 33 attempts. With the usually potent Antler offense in a headlock, Carl Albert quarterback Dillan Dansby had one of his best passing performances of the season.
Dansby was 10 of 16 for 161 yards and two touchdowns. Although his numbers were good, the quality of his passes was even better. Highlights included: A 53-yard beauty to Polston on third-and-22 from Carl Albert's 31 to set up a first quarter score; a 41-yard touchdown pass to Polston that floated over a Deer Creek defender; and a 24-yard touchdown to Polston.
The passing wasn't just pretty, it was also needed. The big Deer Creek defensive front aimed to shut down a Carl Albert run game that saw Titans tailback Darvonta Winston rush for 240 yards the previous week against Ada — and the Antlers did a solid job Friday night.
“We showed tonight that if you do what Deer Creek did to us against the run game, we can throw ball and beat you," said Titans coach Gary Rose. “We have gotten better in our passing game each week.”
Short-yardage quarterback Taylor Hawkins got in on the passing game as well. Hawkins hit Jeremiah Reed for a 13-yard touchdown in the second quarter. Hawkins added an 83-yard kickoff return for a touchdown and a 1-yard run Carl Albert's first two scores.