“They’re a hard working group,” said Deer Valley coach Rich Woods when speaking of his seniors, who were playing in their last regular season home game. “They have been dedicated to the program and this is a good program. They made their mistakes tonight. Obviously we made a few mistakes here and there but we just hung in there and played hard, and that won out.”
The game was much closer than the final score indicated as Deer Valley did not put the game away until late in the third quarter. With the score tied, senior running back Brian Thomas put Deer Valley ahead 21-14 midway through the third quarter with a seven-yard touchdown run. After a bad Antioch snap on a punt attempt gave the Wolverines good field position, senior Mike Behr scored on a QB sneak from one yard out.
Early in the fourth quarter, Thomas scored his second touchdown of the night, giving the Wolverines a 35-14 lead that stood as the final. In total, Thomas rushed for 103 yards.
Thomas provided the lightning to fellow senior running back Lamontay Marshall’s thunder. 13 of Marshall’s game high 167 yards came on a 13-yard sprint on a fake punt that gained a first down and set up a nine-yard touchdown run by junior running back Matt Smith that gave the Wolverines their first lead of the evening at 14-7.
“We just kept the intensity up, played as a family and we just came out as one unit,” said Thomas of his teams’ performance. On scoring two touchdowns on senior night, he added that, “It feels really good, my line blocked for me and I had to get in for them. I just kept my feet moving and I got into the end zone.”
The wet night did nothing to dampen the spirits of the players or fans of either team. Antioch started out looking like they may pull an upset. The Panthers took the opening kickoff and went on a seven play, 80-yard drive that ended when senior quarterback Billy Cloninger hit junior running back Josh Oseguera on a 10-yard touchdown pass that gave Antioch a 7-0 lead.
The Panther excitement however, was short-lived as Deer Valley’s opening drive was just as efficient. They went 60 yards on six plays and tied the game when Behr hit junior receiver Miles Walker on a 34-yard touchdown strike.
The Wolverines took a 14-7 lead into the locker room at halftime but that lead was short lived. On the opening possession of the second half, a Deer Valley fumble gave Antioch the ball on the Wolverine seven yard line. Senior running back Dejon Lewis wasted no time tying the game at 14, scoring on the first play of the ensuing possession. Lewis was Antioch’s standout performer on the night, rushing for 80 yards on 11 carries and catching three passes for 22 yards.
“I feel we did pretty good. It was a little sloppy but we pulled out the win,” said Behr. “It feels great, it’s our last home game, we’re seniors, and we went out big.”
The varsity win completed a Wolverine sweep on the evening as their junior varsity team beat Antioch 28-16.
Deer Valley (6-2, 2-1) will go on the road to take on Liberty (3-5, 1-2), who lost 44-10 at Pittsburg. Antioch (1-7, 0-3) will host a Heritage team (6-2, 2-1), that will be coming off of a big 28-17 road victory against Freedom.