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Jays defense to be challenged by new look Antler offense

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The Deer Creek Antlers will look to erase some memories of the past when they host the second ranked Guthrie BlueJays come Friday evening, but more so looking to get a head start in district play.

Joel Blumenthal tries to out run the Guthrie defense in the 2010 game.

Both squads will enter with perfect 3-0 records as district play begins and playoff positioning could be determined in week four. The game, which has been labeled as the top game in the state, will feature two high-octane offenses that have produced points.

Deer Creek (ranked 6th in 5A this week) is averaging nearly 350 yards of offense and 41 points per game this season with wins over rival Piedmont, Shawnee and Tecumseh. The headliner of the offense is junior quarterback Joel Blumenthal, who shared snaps a season ago with Alex Christensen, but has taken over the offense in 2011 with success.

Blumenthal has not been intercepted in 48 attempts and has completed 29 of his tosses, including six for touchdowns, for over 550 yards. He will have three primary targets in the pass happy offense in Brennan Miyake, Hunter Dinkines and Jared Rayburn.

All three receivers are among the tops in 5A led by Dinkines with almost 200 yards on just eight catches with two of those for scores. Miyake has more catches (12) to go with 182 yards and a score while Rayburn has piled up 149 yards on just five catches and two scores.

The Antler offense will face a BlueJay defense that ranks the best in not only 5A, but all large schools (6A-4A) in total defense. The Jays are allowing just 98 yards of offense in wins over Duncan, Ponca City and Enid. All three of the Guthrie opponents have aired out the ball, but Jays head coach Rafe Watkins expects Deer Creek to perhaps establish more of a running game then their previous opponents have done.

Leading the Deer Creek running game will be Miyake. The dual threat, Miyake, is the top rusher in 5A with 395 yards on 57 carries and six scores. The junior running back is averaging 6.9 yards per carry on the ground.

He will have the challenge of running against a Guthrie defense that is allowing just 32 yards on the ground and a unit that has allowed just one score in 12 quarters of play.

Guthrie has won the previous three games in the series by a combine score of 134-7, including a 41-7 win a season ago inside Jelsma Stadium. The BlueJays lead the overall series 4-2 since the teams first started playing in 2004.

The game can be heard on Triple Play Sports 105.1, streaming world-wide on www.GuthrieSportsPage.com, and can be heard on all smart phones. For more details visit GSP.

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Categories: Guthrie Football
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