EDMOND — It takes a heck of a defensive performance to overshadow a quarterback who tosses five touchdown passes to five different receivers, but that is the kind of game Deer Creek linebacker Austin Loomis had Thursday night in the Antlers' 45- 14 win over Edmond Memorial.
Loomis, the middle linebacker for the unbeaten Antlers, is The Oklahoman's Player of the Week after making 30 tackles against the Bulldogs.
“It was one of the best games I've seen at linebacker in a long time,” said Deer Creek coach Grant Gower. “It was pretty impressive. He was truly sideline to sideline all night.”
Loomis (6-foot-3, 235 pounds) recorded 18 solo tackles, seven assisted tackles, four tackles for loss and had one quarterback sack.
While most of the attention immediately after the game was on Deer Creek quarterback Joel Blumenthal's five touchdown passes, it wasn't until Friday while watching game video that Antlers coaches learned just how great Loomis had played on Thursday night.
Defensive coordinator Ryan Laverty was compiling the statistics from the video, and Loomis' numbers just kept rising, Gower said.
“It was unbelievable,” he said. “We knew he was playing extremely well (Thursday night), but obviously you don't have any idea until you go through the video and count it up. We knew live it was pretty good, but it was even better on video.”
It even surprised Loomis how many tackles he had made.
“They ran the ball a lot more then they passed it,” Loomis said of Edmond Memorial. “I knew it was a lot, but I had no idea it was 30. I was figuring about 15 or 20.”
Gower couldn't recall ever having a Deer Creek player with 30 tackles in a single game before. Loomis credited his teammates for his big statistical night.
“I got to give it up to my defensive line and the defensive ends,” he said. “They are the ones that hold up the (offensive) linemen for me so I can get good reads.
“They take on the double teams and split the double teams so the linebackers can get good reads and fill holes. Without them, I would pretty much be getting blown up every play.”
Loomis was the only one of the Antlers' three regular inside linebackers to play Thursday night. The other two were sidelined with injuries.