Spartan Put Bartlesville Away Twice
10.4.14 by Ron Holt
BARTLESVILLE - After falling behind early, Bixby's third-ranked Spartans were forced to rally twice to finally put away Bartlesville, 41-28, and remain unbeaten in District 6A-II-1 action at Custer Field Friday night.

The Spartans (4-1, 2-0) spoiled the Bruins' homecoming festivities and left the hosts with an overall mark of 1-4 and a district mark of 0-2.

Bixby showed improvement at times in the game in claiming a key district victory, but the Spartans turned the ball over three times, lost their composure by being flagged for three first-half personal foul penalties and ended with 95 yards in penalties.

"We executed pretty well but we kept shooting ourselves in the foot with penalties," Bixby head coach Loren Montgomery said. "We had too many turnovers and we were just sloppy. This is week five and we need to be playing better football than this.

"The personal foul penalties irritate me. It just shows a lack of discipline on our part. That just can't happen. We did some things well tonight. I thought we protected our passer well and at times we got a good rush on those guys.

"We've just got to keep grinding, clean things up and become more disciplined," he added.
As expected the game was a shootout as Bixby ended with 556 yards of total offense and Bartlesville had 445 total yards for 1,001 combined yards.

The Spartans featured the bruising running efforts of junior Nic Roller, who likes running in colder weather, and a productive passing attack featuring sophomore quarterback Tanner Griffin and a talented receiving corp.
Bartlesville's offense featured Colton Penrod, a poised junior quarterback, who contributed 358 total offensive yards and four touchdowns.

Penrod scored on a 19-yard run up the middle with 1:44 left in the first quarter to hand the Bruins the early 7-0 lead.
Bixby came to life in the second quarter on an 18-yard touchdown run by Roller, a 45-yard scoring pass play from Griffin to Kale Mulkey and a 78-yard TD pass from Griffin to Kyle Rhine to take a 20-7 lead at the halftime break.

"Nic is a man child and he ran well tonight. We also had good plays out of Kyle and Kale," Coach Montgomery added.
The Spartans appeared to seize control to open the third quarter, using a 20-yard touchdown pass play from Griffin to Cade Cabbiness for a 27-7 lead with 10:19 left in the third quarter.

Bartlesville wasn't ready to run up the white flag as Tristan Crowder took a shovel pass from Penrod and found a huge opening up the middle for a 74-yard touchdown, making it a 27-14 game with 9:41 showing.

After stopping Bixby on its next series, Bartlesville drove 75 yards in seven plays as Penrod and Crowder executed another shovel pass for a six-yard touchdown, narrowing the deficit to 27-21.

Bixby regained the momentum on its next drive as the Spartans went 60 yards in six plays to reach pay dirt on Roller's four-yard burst up the middle for a 34-21 Bixby lead. A 37-yard pass play from Griffin to Rhine highlighted the drive.

Bixby put the game away early in the fourth quarter as the Griffin found J. J. Cantrell for a five-yard touchdown pass play giving the visitors a 41-21 lead with 9:27 left.

"We didn't really come out and do what we wanted to after halftime," said Roller, who ran through and over the Bruins for 208 yards on 26 carries and two touchdowns. "After they scored to get it close I thought we did a good job of responding by scoring to keep them from building momentum. I liked that we were finally able to put them away."

Bartlesville's final score was set up by a fumble recovery at the Bixby 40-yard line. On fourth-and-10, Penrod passed to Jarron Hilger for a 40-yard touchdown trimming the deficit to 41-28 with 5:14 remaining.

Griffin was 21-of-33 passing for 337 yards and four touchdowns, while being picked off once. Rhine finished with seven catches for 152 yards and one touchdown, while Mulkey, who was injured late in the game, caught four balls for 83 yards and one TD.
Mulkey's 45-yard touchdown reception was a thing of beauty as he made an over the shoulder catch and had to tight-rope down the sideline to reach the end zone.

NOTABLES - Bixby celebrates its homecoming Friday, Oct. 10, when the Spartans host Ponca City. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. Ponca City (1-4, 0-2) lost to Muskogee, 14-0, last Friday. J. J. Cantrell forced Bartlesville's lone turnover with a pass interception late in the game.