The score was important because Deer Creek needed to win by at least six to take the district title.
McGuinness hadn't allowed a point since September but it was Deer Creek's defense that came up with the key plays. Defensive back Caden Sander had a pair of interceptions in the final 8:30 to seal the win.
“Our defense felt like they had something to prove tonight,” quarterback Joel Blumenthal said. “I feel like they're the best in the state and they played like it tonight.”
The Irish held McGuinness star wide receiver Cody Chancellor to three catches for 33 yards. Deer Creek coach Grant Gower attributed the performance in part to the scout-team work put in by a couple of Antlers offensive standouts.
Blumenthal simulated McGuinness quarterback Jacob Lewis in practice during the week while No. 3 receiver Jacob Anderson had the assignment of playing Chancellor in practice.
“He's so talented and so athletic that we knew we had to have a big game out of our defensive backs to beat them,” Gower said. “We had to force him to make catches with two or three guys on them and we did that.”