Injury-Plagued Spartans Stop Sapulpa, 48-10
10.7.17 by Ron Holt
SAPULPA - Bixby High's performance here Friday night in a Class 6AII, District 2 game against the winless Sapulpa Chieftains wasn't crisp, clean or sharp.
In the final analysis, however, the bottom line was all that mattered.

The sixth-ranked Spartans led 35-0 at halftime before returning home with a 48-10 victory over Sapulpa (0-6, 0-3). The Spartans evened their season record at 3-3 and, more importantly, improved to 2-0 in the district. That's the bottom line.

Getting the district win was never in doubt. But, the injury-plagued Spartans realize improved play will be needed further down the district road.
"We weren't very clean. It was really ugly," said veteran Bixby head coach Loren Montgomery. "We're not world beaters and we've got to come out and execute really well to win the games we need to win we've got to get better.

"But, we got out with a win and we got out healthy. We might get a few more guys back next week. We'll be able to evaluate the film and see what mistakes we made and go from there," he added.

Bixby took a business-like approach early on, using a six-yard touchdown run by senior quarterback Staton King, a 10-yard pass play from King to sophomore wide receiver Brennan Presley, a one-yard TD plunge by sophomore Braden Roller and three Reis Vernon extra-point boots to lead 21-0 in the first quarter.

A face mask penalty against Sapulpa and a 26-yard pass from King to Presley highlighted the Spartans' first TD drive.

A nine-yard run by King, who fumbled into the end zone with Presley recovering for the touchdown, and a three-yard scoring run by Vic Griffin allowed the Spartans to take a comfortable 35-0 lead into the halftime locker room.

A three-yard touchdown run by Roller and a seven-yard scoring dash by Griffin put the game out of reach at 48-0 entering the fourth quarter. Against reserves, the Chieftains scored their only points in the final nine minutes of the game.
"It's a win a win is a win. But, this isn't one to hang our hat on or to be proud of. We played sloppy," said senior offensive lineman Bryce Bray. "This isn't something to be happy about. We need to play crisper. If we keep playing like this it's not going to be good for us later in the season.

"If this is the last bad game we have then we'll be good," he noted. "I think how we attack practice will determine how we do. We just have to come out and play each team like they are undefeated. That's human nature to take the easy way out but the seniors have to step up and make it clear what we need to do since we've been there."

Offensively, the Spartans compiled 477 yards of total offense, rushing for 279 yards and passing for 198 while running 12 more plays than the hosts.

King had a productive outing, passing for 198 yards and one touchdown on 11-of-17 passing. Roller and Griffin highlighted the determined rushing attack with 100 yards and 98 yards, respectively, and each scored twice. Presley also caused problems for the Sapulpa defense, catching six passes for 110 yards and one TD.

Bixby's defense harassed Sapulpa ball carriers throughout, limiting the Chieftains to only 22 net rushing yards in 30 attempts. SHS also only had eight first downs while averaging 0.7 yards per rush and 2.7 yards per play.

"We came out ready, we came out full attack from the first play on defense to the last play," said senior linebacker Coby Tillman, who was credited with five solo stops, 2.5 sacks and 3.5 tackles for losses. "We just came out and played. Our approach is the same to play like it's our last game."

NEXT GAME - Bixby returns to Lee Snider Stadium on Friday, Oct. 13, to host district opponent Ponca City. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. Ponca City dipped to 1-5 on the season after falling to Sand Springs, 41-7, last Friday night. On the season, the Wildcats, who are 1-2 in district play, lost to Edmond Memorial (28-7), Enid (61-34), at Guthrie (48-0), to Tulsa Washington (63-21) while the lone victory was a 14-12 squeaker at Bartlesville.

DISTRICT SCORES - In a feature District 2 game last Friday night, Tulsa Washington continued its winning ways with a 42-21 victory at Muskogee. Bartlesville was idle last Friday. In district games Oct. 13, Tulsa Washington visits Sand Springs and Sapulpa travels to Bartlesville. Muskogee is idle.

NOTABLES - Sapulpa wasted little time going into its bag of tricks as the Chieftains turned a fake punt into a 15-yard run for a first down by Cameron Hancock on the game's opening drive. Bixby's defense stopped the drive on fourth down at the Spartan 40. Bixby's second touchdown was set up by Griffin's fumble recovery at the Chieftain 27-yard-line. A 40-yard pass play from King to Zach Riddle highlighted Bixby's third TD scoring drive. Riddle ended with three catches for 76 yards. Sapulpa's fourth quarter touchdown came on a 23-yard pass play from quarterback Elijah Williams to Gerquan Sanders.