High school football scrimmage notebook: Jared Rayburn stars for Deer Creek

BY RYAN ABER, JASON KERSEY AND SCOTT WRIGHT, Staff Writers, raber@opubco.com; jkersey@opubco.com; swright@opubco.com Modified: August 26, 2011 at 11:48 pm •  Published: August 26, 2011
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Deer Creek junior Jared Rayburn started on defense at cornerback last season. This year, he's playing offense, too.

And if Friday's Top of the World Classic scrimmage against McAlester is any indication, Rayburn is on the path to stardom.

Rayburn (5-foot-9, 165 pounds) caught two touchdown passes from quarterback Joel Blumenthal during the Antlers' 21-21 tie with McAlester in a half-game.

“He's my best friend; I know him better than anybody,” Blumenthal said. “This is his time; his time to show what he can do.”

Rayburn showed plenty on the Antlers' last offensive drive. Trailing 21-14, Blumenthal started to scramble at about Deer Creek's 40-yard line. He was trying to direct Rayburn to go upfield, but Rayburn saw Buffaloes' defensive lineman Jesse Lane (6-3, 225) coming, and made a bone-crushing crack block that left Lane wobbling off the field.

“I gotta take care of my quarterback,” Rayburn said. “He's the one that delivers me the ball, so I've gotta protect him.

“He was scrambling, and he wanted me to go up field. But I was like, ‘No, I got you.'”

Then, on fourth down later in the drive, Blumenthal scrambled out of the pocket and found Rayburn deep downfield for about a 50-yard reception. Rayburn later caught the tying TD pass from Blumenthal; the scrimmage ended in a 21-21 tie.

SOPHOMORE HITS BIG KICK FOR NORMAN

As sophomore kicker Matt Hockett lined up for a 38-yard, potential game-winning field goal in the final seconds of Norman's scrimmage against Stillwater, Tigers coaches were still wondering if the officials were going to give the Pioneers a live rush at the kick.

They did, as was specified in the rules, and Hockett's kick sailed through the uprights to give Norman a 24-21 win.

“The kid's got ice water in his veins,” Norman coach Greg Nation said. “He's going to do a lot of good things for us this year. It was good to get him in a situation like that.”

Norman opens its season against Norman North on Thursday at Gaylord Family Memorial Stadium.