Spartans Fall To Jenks In Season Opener
JENKS - Bixby High's worst fears were realized quickly here Friday night as Class 6A's top-ranked Jenks needed only 10
seconds to score the game's first touchdown en route to a dominating 66-20 victory over the Spartans in the season opener for
Bixby knew it couldn't let Jenks gain early momentum if it was to have any chance of competing against the defending Class 6A
state champion Trojans.
Taking over at its own 20-yard-line after the opening kickoff, the Trojans struck on the first play as quarterback Cooper Nunley
connected with sophomore receiver Brett Standlee for an 80-yard touchdown pass play at the 11:50 mark of the first quarter. A
Spartan defender was running with Standlee but tripped and fell as the ball arrived.
Jenks used the momentum to take a 28-0 first quarter lead en route to building a 42-0 advantage at halftime.
"A lot of bad things happened early that allowed the game to get away from us," Bixby head coach Loren Montgomery said. "We
definitely saw a lot of things we need to improve on.
"I was really disappointed that we didn't play better than we did tonight. We are a better team than we showed and it was
surprising that we didn't play well."
Bixby, ranked second in Class 6A-Division II in the preseason, got on the scoreboard at the 6:05 mark of the third quarter as
sophomore quarterback Tanner Griffin connected with senior wide receiver Kyle Rhine for a 22-yard touchdown pass play. BHS's
Taylor Ruth was wide left on the extra point try making it a 42-6 game.
The Spartans trimmed the deficit to 45-13 with 11:43 left in the game as Griffin hit Kale Mulkey for an 11-yard touchdown and
Ruth added the point-after.
Bixby's final score came on a 10-yard pass play from Griffin to Mulkey with 3:53 left in the game but the score had ballooned to
52-20 at that time.
Jenks tacked on a couple of long distance scores in the last three minutes for the final score.
Bixby finished with 423 yards of total offense, while Jenks amassed 610 total yards. The Spartans had 307 passing yards and
116 rushing yards.
For his first varsity start, the 6-0, 187-pound Griffin had a productive evening as he completed 21-of-43 passes for 307 yards and
three touchdowns. He was picked off twice by the Trojans, once on a pass that was deflected.
LaDarren Walker, a 6-1, 185-pound sophomore running back, led the Spartans on the ground with 66 yards on seven attempts for
an average of 9.4 yards per carry.
Rhine led Bixby in receiving as he caught six passes for 117 yards and one touchdown. Those numbers didn't mean much to the
senior standout afterward.
"I feel I played just okay but I'm more worried about how the team plays," Rhine said. "About all that came out of this game
tonight was that we found a lot of things that we need to fix. We just didn't play like we usually do."
Receivers Blake Cooper finished with two catches for 51 yards, Cade Cabbiness had three grabs for 45 yards, Jared Kerr caught
four balls for 39 yards and Mulkey had three catches for 35 yards.
Bixby remains on the road Thursday, Sept. 11, when it visits Tulsa East Central. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. East Central lost at
Bartlesville, 48-27, in its opener Friday.