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By Elizabeth Tanne/The Post Dispatch
The Antelopes are headed back to the Class 2A-Division 1 State Title Championship for the second-straight year after putting a stop to Crawford’s undefeated season Friday night with a 28-14 final led by Ashton Jefferson who chipped in two first-half touchdowns and 129 of the Antelopes’ 367 yards of offense.
Holding the Pirates to 186 yards of offense in 50 plays, the No. 3 Antelopes will now face the No. 1 Shiner Comanches (13-0), who advanced after defeating Timpson 49-7, at 11 a.m., Thursday, Dec. 17 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
Putting up a pair of touchdowns, including one for 72 yards, in the first half, Jefferson pushed the Antelopes to an early 13-point lead against Crawford.
Following an 8-yard scoring throw by Crawford’s Tanner Merenda to Luke Tobert, Slayden Pittman and Nathan McDaniel connected for a 76-yard touchdown pass to complete the 21-7 halftime score.
Coming off a 15-play drive in the third quarter, Crawford’s Merenda secured a 16-yard throw to Ben Baker for a touchdown, diminishing the Antelopes’ lead to seven points.
However, following Crawford’s second interception of the night, the Pirates struggled to move the ball with Post’s defensive line allowing only one yard of offensive gain, forcing the Pirates to return possession to the Antelopes.
Breaking up the defensive slugfest, McDaniel intercepted Crawford’s pass in the fourth, setting up Pittman, who finished with 120 in-air yards and 91 on foot, for a one-yard touchdown sneak off of a six-play drive for a semi-final win of 28-14.