By Ron Holt
After being victimized by the COVID-19 pandemic last week, unbeaten Bixby hopes to start the Class 6AII-District 2 schedule Friday, Sept. 25, with the visiting Bartlesville Bruins. Kickoff at Lee Snider Stadium is set for 7 p.m.
When the final non-district game at Stillwater was cancelled last Friday, Bixby hustled to find a replacement game. BHS planned to visit Stigler, but that game was cancelled by the hosts early last Thursday morning. BHS scrambled again before sending a squad of junior varsity and younger players to play at Blanchard. The youthful Spartans led 29-0 at halftime in capturing a 29-13 victory.
Top-ranked Bixby, 2-0 on the season, meets a Bruin team which is 1-2. Bartlesville, coached by Jason Sport, captured a 34-10 home field win over Claremore in the opener before losing at Sapulpa (48-21) and at Collinsville (34-30) last Friday.
Against Collinsville, the Bruins were led by 5-11, 182-pound junior wide receiver Gage Keaton, who caught eight passes for 138 yards and three touchdowns. Keaton had one catch against the Spartans in last season’s game.
Quarterback Paxton Bradford, a 6-0, 180-pound senior who is making his first start, completed 14-of-27 passes for 201 yards and three scores. Dylan McCoy, a 5-6, 125-pound senior running back, rushed for 160 yards with 118 yards coming in the second half.
Defensively, the Bruins are led by senior linebacker Braeden Winters, a 6-2, 235-pounder, and defensive back Nick Folks, a 5-10, 165-pound senior.
LAST MEETING – Bixby settled the issue early in a 2019 district contest at Bartlesville as the Spartans erupted for 37 first quarter points in coasting to a 61-14 victory. Bixby, which finished with 538 yards of total offense, led 47-0 at halftime.
Spartan quarterback Mason Williams was 13-of-18 passing for 259 yards and five touchdowns. Senior Brennan Presley caught six passes for 143 yards and three TDs while senior Luke Creeger ended with five grabs for 101 yards and two scores. Tailback Braylin Presley rushed 10 times for 98 yards and one TD.
Bartlesville, which lost two fumbles and had a pass intercepted, was limited to 88 yards rushing but contributed 291 yards passing for a total offensive output of 379 yards.
DISTRICT 2 GAMES – Also opening Class 6AII-District 2 play Friday are No. 6 Choctaw visiting No. 3 Booker T. Washington, Muskogee hosting Putnam City West and No. 9 Sand Springs visiting Ponca City.
NOTABLES – Bixby, which has won 27 consecutive games, is ranked No. 1 in Class 6AII while Bartlesville is ranked No. 10, according to this week’s Tulsa World poll. … Bartlesville’s last win over the Spartans was a 50-33 regular season victory in 2015 at Bixby. In a rematch in a 2015 Class 6AII state semifinal game at Owasso, Bixby gained revenge over the Bruins, 67-21, to reach the Class 6AII state championship where the Spartans defeated Sand Springs, 38-28, for their second Class 6AII state title. Ironically, Bixby also avenged a 20-0 loss at Sand Springs in the 2015 regular season finale.