Deer Creek's demise was its inability to stop the run. Blumenthal's 85-yard touchdown run late in the second quarter after Deer Creek had stopped the Buffaloes on fourth down at the Antlers 13 gave the home team a big momentum boost heading into the second half.
But McAlester (8-4) opened the third quarter with an 80-yard, 15-play scoring drive that shifted the momentum back to the Buffaloes. They had the ball for more than half of the third period on that drive.
“We really tried to talk about keeping the ball away from them,” Bryan Pratt said. “They are great offense and a great football team. For us to come out and get some stops on defense was huge and our offense was able to keep the chains moving.”
Deer Creek rallied in the fourth quarter with two touchdowns — a 6-yard run by running back Brennan Miyake and a 2-yard run by Blumenthal.
After Blumenthal's score with 3:45 left in the game, it appeared the Antlers (10-2) might pull off the comeback. Then the last thing anyone expected to happen did on the extra point try. But the Buffaloes got a push up the middle, allowing Pratt to sneak through.
Now, for the second straight season, the Buffaloes have earned a trip to the state 5A semifinals.
After the game, Bryan Pratt told his club that there is no better feeling in high school football then to be practicing over Thanksgiving.