Spartans Host Trojans In Season Opener
8.28.17 by Ron Holt
After three weeks of practices and scrimmages, Bixby High's three-time defending Class 6A-II state champions eagerly anticipate opening the 2017 season.
The Spartans of eighth-year head coach Loren Montgomery open the season Friday at Bixby's Lee Snider Stadium with tradition rival Jenks. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.
While it's the season opener for Bixby, the Class 6A-I Trojans of longtime coach Allan Trimble enter the game with an 0-1 record after falling at home to Owasso, 48-10, in their opener last Friday. That loss means little to the Spartans.
"I think they are really good. They have a lot of defensive starters back from last year's team," Coach Montgomery said of Jenks. "They lost some playmakers but Jenks is going to always be good and be well coached."
Bixby wrapped up its preseason scrimmages at Springdale, Ark., last week. The Spartans scrimmaged North Little Rock, Ark., and Bentonville, Ark., while playing Springdale Har-Ber in a half game scrimmage.
Har-Ber took a 10-3 lead before the Spartans rallied to tie the game late in the second quarter. The rally began with a good kickoff return by Brennan Presley and three consecutive 15-yard dead ball, unsportsmanlike penalties on Har-Ber as BHS's drive began deep in Wildcat territory.
Senior running back Tucker Pawley scored on a short-yard touchdown run and sophomore Reis Vernon kicked the conversion to tie the game at 10-all.
Har-Ber, however, put together a productive drive before facing third down inside the Spartans' 10-yard-line. Bixby blocked an attempted pass by the Har-Ber quarterback but the ball bounced back to the signal caller, who caught the ball and scored from six yards out for the go-ahead TD.
Bixby threatened inside the Wildcats' 10-yard line before failing to convert a fourth down play as time expired.
While no coach is ever 100 per cent ready to start the season, Coach Montgomery is pleased with the progress this year's team has made during the preseason.
"We've seen progress out of our guys and we've had a whole lot of guys that maybe we didn't anticipate being good players that are going to get meaningful reps and I think they are going to do a good job," he said after the Springdale scrimmage. "We saw some young guys step in there tonight and make some plays.
"I like the fact that the kicking game was live tonight. It gave us a good look going into week one. That was a big thing last year Jenks had a game to iron out some things and we had an opportunity to do that tonight.
"It's been good for our guys to understand that you have to play your best every week to win," Coach Montgomery added. "We're going to play a lot of good football teams this year and you can't expect them to just roll up and give us anything because we've had some success."

NOTEBOOK - Jenks has been dominant in the series, winning the last 26 games. Bixby last won in 1977. The Spartans had the Trojans on the ropes most of last year's game before Jenks scored with 40 seconds remaining to pull out a 38-34 victory. Friday's game is the Tulsa World's Must-See Game of the Week. Bixby was 10-3 last season.

MILITARY APPRECIATION - Bixby's season opener will be Military Appreciation Night. The non-profit group being recognized will be Blue Star Mothers of America. The Oklahoma Chapter One group focuses on sending Freedom Boxes to troops overseas. Bixby fans are asked to donate items to be used in the Freedom Boxes. A veterans' recognition ceremony begins at 6:30 p.m. Friday.