Bixby, Lawton Clash In 6A-II Title Game Rematch
11.29.16 by Ron Holt
For the second time in the past three seasons, Bixby High's Spartans and Lawton's Wolverines will battle for the Class 6AII State Football Championship.

Bixby seeks its third straight Class 6AII State Championship, while Lawton plays for its first Class 6AII title when the two clash Friday, Dec. 2, at Yukon High's stadium. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.

Since Class 6AII was initiated by the Oklahoma Secondary Schools Activities Association in 2014, Bixby and Lawton will meet three times in the state playoffs - twice in the championship game and once in the semifinals.

The second-ranked Spartans emerged victorious in each previous meeting. Bixby defeated Lawton, 35-21, in the 2014 Class 6AII championship game at Moore; the Spartans outscored the Wolverines, 28-0, in the fourth quarter in 2015 en route to a 36-6 state semifinal victory at Cameron Stadium in Lawton.
On paper, this matchup appears to be as competitive as the previous two meetings. Bixby is 9-3 on the season, while the Wolverines are 8-4. Both finished second in each's respective districts.
Lawton, coached by Randy Breeze, relied on a talented offense, led by a mammoth offensive line, in 2014 and also featured a quick-strike offense in 2015.

"Their schemes are very similar but they throw the ball more than they did last year and probably more than they did in 2014," said seventh-year Bixby head coach Loren Montgomery. "They've been about 60 percent run and 40 percent pass, which is pretty heavy pass for them.
"Defensively, I think they are similar. They are more of a 4-2-5/4-4 look but then last week against Muskogee in the second half they were an all three-man front, which they've shown in prevent situations before. Their O-line and D-line aren't as big as they have been they were huge in 2014," Coach Montgomery added.
A look at scores against common opponents favors the Spartans with one exception. Bixby routed Putnam City (56-20), Booker T. Washington (28-0) and Putnam City West (49-7) in the state quarterfinals while losing at Muskogee (45-42). Lawton defeated Putnam City (26-14), Putnam West (35-28), Booker T. (21-20) in state quarterfinals and last week edged Muskogee, 35-28, in the state semifinals.
Offensively, LHS is led by senior quarterback Zack Hanna, 5-11, 205-pound senior running back Tre Curry and a stable of quality receivers.

"They have some skill people on offense with some good receivers and a nice tailback in Curry, he's a good back," Coach Montgomery said. "They love running reverses since they've got a guy who is really fast. They ran four or five against Muskogee and also ran a reverse pass that they hit for a touchdown. Their quarterback is a nice player, too.
"With our offense we see different things than what we practice. I think because our offense has been a little explosive people try to do some things they hadn't done before. But, for the most part, when you get to the state championship, teams do what they do because that's how they've been successful," he added.
Bixby, which is on a seven-game winning streak, has relied on a balanced offensive attack, led by a talented offensive line, and opportunistic defense this season.
Junior Tucker Pawley leads the rushing attack with 1,860 yards on 274 carries and 26 touchdowns. He's averaging 6.79 yards per carry. He also caught 30 passes for 392 yards and six scores.
Senior quarterback Tanner Griffin, who is leading BHS in its third straight state championship game, has passed for 2,944 yards on 233-of-364 attempts and 38 TDs. His productive final year has included 161 yards rushing while he's also handled the punting chores.

Senior wide receiver Nic Swanson has been impressive all season, catching 97 passes for 1,339 yards and 18 touchdowns.
Defensively, junior linebacker Coby Tillman has been a leader. He tops the team in tackles with 172, including 96 unassisted stops. He has eight sacks for 40 yards in losses, intercepted one pass and recovered four fumbles.
Linebacker Colyn Farley has been credited with 114 tackles and four sacks; linebacker Cade Cannon has 107 total tackles, 49 unassisted, and 4.5 sacks; senior noseguard Brendon Evers has 43 total tackles, 7.5 sacks and caused three fumbles; Colton Tafoya and Cade Cavender lead in pass interceptions with four and three, respectively.
"We had to dial their focus in a little last week since school let out Tuesday and we didn't have a game but I think the kids are hungry, especially those kids who haven't played much in the past and are playing more this season," Coach Montgomery said.
The last two seasons, Bixby has played its best ball of the season in the playoffs. A trend everyone associated with the program wants to continue.

NOTABLES - Tickets for Friday's game are $7 for adults and students. Bixby will be the visiting team, which has been the case in the past two championship games. Lawton is averaging 398.8 yards per game, averaging 225.4 yards rushing. In the 2014 win over Lawton, a key play in the game was Adrian Mica's pass interception return for a touchdown to break open a 21-14 game. A key statistic in the Spartans' win at Lawton in 2015 was holding the Wolverines to 20 yards rushing on 25 attempts. In two state championship games, BHS quarterback Tanner Griffin has completed 34-of-46 passes for 396 yards and two touchdowns. In two state playoff games against Lawton, Spartan running back Nic Roller, who graduated last season, blitzed the Wolverines for 376 yards on 84 carries and four TDs.
Bixby Two-Deep Lineups

OFFENSE
X- 3 Nic Swanson (6-0, 173, Sr.), 6 Sam Sherman (6-2, 160, Jr.); H - 14 Drake Allen (5-9, 170, Sr.), 18 Clayton Barbour (5-8, 154, So.); LT - 75 Bryce Bray (6-6, 299, Jr.), 76 Colton Cable (6-3, 271, So.); LG - 54 Josh Neerman (6-0, 241, Sr.), 58 Zi Albert (5-11, 249, Jr.). C - 50 Pierce Hibblen (5-7, 221, Sr.), 63 Carter McAmis (5-11, 250, So.); RG - 64 Isaiah Lakin (6-3, 226, Jr.), 60 Jonathan Wrona (6-1, 258, Sr.); RT - 77 Josh Owens (6-4, 255, Jr.), 53 Hayden Haynes (6-1, 210, So.); TE - 40 Ryan Kerr (6-0, 175, So.), 38 Noah West (6-1, 194, So.), 47 Ethan Hall (6-3, 201, So.).; Z - 11 Eric Calton-Watkins (6-1, 171, Jr.), 7 Staton King (6-2, 191, Jr.); TB - 21 Tucker Pawley (6-0, 191, Jr.), 33 Braden Roller (5-9, 160, Fr.), 2 Ryan Matthews (5-10, 176, Sr.); QB - 10 Tanner Griffin (6-1, 201, Sr.), 7 King, 4 Tyler Harlan (6-1, 150, So.); WR - 5 Zach Riddle (5-9, 155, Jr.), 8 Brennan Presley (5-9, 150, Fr.).

DEFENSE
DE - 91 Cody Adams (5-11, 241, Sr.), 26 Aaron Levin (5-10, 225, Sr.); DT - 55 Chandler Price (6-0, 222, Sr.), 46 Zeke Upshaw (6-0, 202, Jr.); NG - 88 Brendon Evers (6-2, 301, Sr.), 54 Neerman; JLB - 47 Hall, 38 West; WLB - 31Coby Tillman (6-0, 231, Jr.), 25 Andrew Vela (5-10, 191, Jr.); MLB - 20 Cade Cannon (5-9, 210, Sr.), 39 Brody Sartin (5-9, 185, Fr.); NLB - 45 Colyn Farley (5-9, 189, Jr.); 40 Kerr; LC - 29 Colton Tafoya (5-9, 171, Jr.), 5 Riddle; FS - 2 Matthews, 16 - Cameron Stephens (6-1, 179, Jr.); 22 - 14 Allen, 7 King; RC - 15 Cade Cavender (6-0, 182, So.), 18 Barbour.
SPECIALISTS
Kicker - 19 Jason Campbell (59, 145, Sr.). Punter - 10 Griffin, 3 Swanson. Deep Snapper - 77 Owens, 13 Blake Behrens (6-0, 150, Jr.). PAT Snapper - 77 Owens, 47 Hall. Holder - 7 King.
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Lawton Starting Lineup
OFFENSE
WR - 1 Jayquan Lincoln (6-0, 175, Jr.); WR -17 Shandon Sheppard (5-8, 180, Sr.); TE - 89 Marquis Allen (5-8, 225, Jr.); LT - 77 Hector Becerra (6-2, 267, So.); LG - 56 Clay Longest (6-0, 260, Sr.); C - 53 Kole Petering (5-11, 240, Jr.); RG - 75 Junior Olo (6-1, 258, Sr.), RT - 55 Landon Koonce (5-8, 200, Sr.); WR - 7 Dominick Neal (6-2, 173, Jr.); QB - 5 Zack Hanna (6-0, 177, Jr.); RB - 6 Tre Curry (5-11, 205, Sr.).

DEFENSE
DE 45 Kieth Thierry (5-9, 194, Sr.); DT - 85 Jacob Sanchez (5-10, 205, Sr.); NG - 42 Matt Hernandez (5-10, 245, Jr.); DE - 40 Jaylik Gibson (6-2, 210, Jr.); SLB - 20 Stephen Silas (5-8, 165, Sr.); MLB - 32 Marcus Spencer (6-0, 238, So.); WLB - 8 Nathan Kirk (5-8, 180, Sr.); CB - 3 Miles Davis (5-10, 155, So.); SS - 1 Jayquan Lincoln (6-0, 175, Jr.); FS - 2 Dia Vonta Michael (5-1, 155, Sr.); CB - 4 Kejuan Neal (5-10, 150, Jr.).

SPECIALISTS
Kicker - 43 Valentin Morales (6-1, 170, Sr.). Punter - 35 Demarcus Andrews (5-11, 155, Fr.). Long Snapper - 15 Pierce Warn (5-9, 190, Sr.). Kick/Punt Returner - 2 Michael.
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Bixby Spartan Scoreboard
(9-3, 5-1)
@ Jenks - L, 31-28; @ Bentonville, Ark., L, 44-34; vs. Putnam City, W, 56-20; vs. Westmoore, W, 70-28; @ Muskogee, L, 45-42; vs. Sapulpa, W, 62-17; @ Ponca City, W, 60-6; vs. Bartlesville, W, 63-14; @ Booker T. Washington, W, 28-0; vs. Sand Springs, W, 35-19. Quarterfinals - vs. Putnam City West, W, 49-7. State Semifinals (at Sapulpa) - vs. Sand Springs, W, 35-21.
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Lawton Wolverine Scoreboard
(8-4, 5-2)
@ MWC Carl Albert, L, 56-41; vs. Lawton MacArthur, L, 35-28; @ Lawton Eisenhower, W, 62-37; @ Midwest City, L, 20-17; vs. Putnam City, W, 26-14; @ Stillwater, W, 21-14; vs. Enid, W, 51-3; @ Choctaw, L, 52-26; vs. Putnam City West, W, 35-28; vs. Deer Creek-Edmond, W, 49-0. Quarterfinals - vs. Tulsa Washington, W, 21-20. State Semifinals (at Edmond Santa Fe) - vs. Muskogee, W, 35-28.
Photos courtesy of Gregg Shipman, Shipman Photography