Bixby's Focused Spartans Blank Chieftains 60-0
10.17.14 by Ron Holt
SAPULPA - Focusing on the task at hand appeared to be Bixby High's main motivation here Thursday night as the Spartans took control early and never eased up in romping past Sapulpa, 60-0, in a District 6AII-1 game at Collins Stadium.

It would have been easy for the third-ranked Spartans to look past the Chieftains, who are now 1-6 overall and 0-4 in district play.

It would also have been understandable if the Spartans (6-1, 4-0) took a peek toward the district showdown at top-ranked Tulsa Washington Friday, Oct. 24, starting at 7 p.m. at S. E. Williams Stadium.

The Spartans, however, focused on taking care of business in getting off to probably the most effective start of the season in rolling to a 34-0 halftime advantage while relying on a smothering defense throughout.

"We just had a focus from the start to start fast this week," said junior wide receiver Cade Cabbiness. "We've been starting slow in the first quarter so getting the fast start was a good thing to do this week."

Bixby head coach Loren Montgomery agreed. "It was a little bit better tonight," he said. "I was proud of the guys for the way they came out. We executed well and played extremely fast on defense.

"Our start may have had something to do with fall break," he noted. "We had a big team breakfast this morning and took the kids to a movie. It may have given them some time to get their mind on football."

Bixby dominated in all phases. The Spartans amassed 532 yards of total offense, while limiting Sapulpa to 68 total yards. The Chieftains had 35 passing yards, 33 rushing and ended with eight first downs. The Spartans' aggressive defense bottled up Sapulpa quarterback Trey Bilby and talented junior running back Dae Williams. Williams rushed for 55 yards on 22 carries, while Bilby hit only six-of-20 pass attempts for 35 yards and was intercepted once.

Bixby was sharp early as sophomore quarterback Tanner Griffin finished off an impressive, opening drive by hitting sophomore wide receiver Cade Cabbiness with an 18-yard touchdown pass with 8:31 left in the first quarter.

Junior running back Nic Roller, who had 97 rushing yards on 15 carries, scored from four yards out for a 12-0 Spartan lead after one quarter.

Griffin and Cabbiness hooked up on a 12-yard touchdown pass play with 10:34 left in the second quarter to expand the visitors' lead to 20-0.

"Tanner was throwing great balls and the line was blocking great so it worked out good for us," said Cabbiness, who had three catches for 45 yards and two touchdowns.

Roller went on a 36-yard, tackle-breaking run up the middle for a touchdown with 8:41 left before halftime and Griffin hit tight end Austin Grotts for an eight-yard scoring pass play with 24 seconds left before the break to give the Spartans the 34-0 lead at intermission. Reserves were involved in the bulk of the snaps in the second half as sophomore running back Ryan Matthews had touchdown runs of five and 73 yards and sophomore LaDarren Walker went six yards and 33 yards for touchdowns to wrap up the Spartans' scoring parade.

Walker ended with 95 yards rushing on 13 carries and Matthews gained 87 yards on five carries. Griffin had another productive performance, completing 11 of 19 passes for 203 yards and three touchdowns. Senior wide receiver Kyle Rhine also continued his impressive play as he caught four passes, including a pair of diving grabs, for 100 yards.

"I was proud of the defense for getting the shutout. Those are always hard to come by," Coach Montgomery said. "I feel good about the way we executed and hopefully we can carry that into next week. "We'll find out a lot about ourselves next week."

GAME NOTES: BHS senior Justin Williams had a pair of crucial plays. His 39-yard kickoff return to open the third quarter set up the first TD of the second half and he intercepted a pass late in the third quarter, which led to another Spartan TD. Mea Gordon, a senior female place-kicker, booted her first varsity extra point in the third quarter. Booker T. Washington improved to 7-0 overall and to 4-0 in the district after its 48-14 win at Bartlesville Thursday night.