Explosive Spartans Overcome Penalties, Sand Springs, 61-7

By Ron Holt

SAND SPRINGS – Ignited by explosive plays from their playmakers and a defensive effort which

negated the opponents’ strength, Bixby’s top-rated Spartans trounced the Sand Springs Sandites, 61-7, here last Friday night at Memorial Stadium.

The Spartans, No. 1 in Class 6A-I, improved to 3-0 after the final non-district game this season. Sand Springs, ranked No. 5 in Class 6A-II, dropped to 1-1. Bixby has won 63 of its last 64 games and the Spartans have won the past nine meetings with the Sandites.

Bixby, which led 41-0 at halftime, finished with 378 yards of total offense – 202 yards passing and 176 yards rushing – led by three quarterbacks while BHS’s defense limited the Sandites, who turned the ball over three times, to 136 total offensive yards. Bixby had one turnover but was flagged 16 times for 124 yards.

“I thought it was good on both sides, especially the defense,” Bixby head coach Loren Montgomery said of the Spartans’ line play on the road. “They have a very good offensive line and good running backs. We did a good job taking away their run game and forcing them to throw and when they did, we got great pressure.

“Offensively, we did a nice job of blocking and getting some of our guys in space … that’s when things

started to take off. I thought the three quarterbacks (Clay Peters, Carson Kirby and Cooper Parker) all ran the offensive stuff well,” Montgomery noted.

“Clay is a veteran and he looked like it. Carson is a sophomore who continues to get better every week. I thought he threw some good balls and Cooper did some good things on short yardage.”

Bixby’s ability to adjust paid off in the Spartans’ first possession. Senior Cody Crull caught a pass from senior quarterback Clay Peters and found numerous Sandite defenders blocking his path near the Sandite sideline. He reversed the field and reeled off a 39-yard gainer before being belted out of bounds at the

Sandite 17-yard line.

“It seemed their coaches had coached them up on the bubble to run right at it,” said Crull, who doubles as a Spartan running back and linebacker. “There was no one backside so I just kept running before running out of gas near the sideline. I almost had it all the way.”

Two plays later, sophomore quarterback Carson Kirby scrambled away from pressure and kept the play

alive before spotting senior wide receiver Sam McCormick open in the end zone for a 12-yard touchdown with 9:21 left in the first quarter. Senior Troy Nguyen’s point-after kick gave BHS a 7-0 lead.

“I was where I was supposed to be … I ended up in the end zone and saw Carson scrambling, so I tried to get into an open space. Luckily, we were on the same page, and he found me,” said McCormick of his first touchdown reception this season that ended a three-play, 52-yard drive.

“Our run game has really been dominant, which helps the receivers. As receivers, we also take pride in our blocking,” added McCormick, a two-way starter.

Bixby’s next scoring drive featured a clutch, scrambling fourth-down 21-yard pass from Kirby to McCormick for a Spartan first down at the Sandite 15-yard line. On the next play, Peters broke free

outside and out-ran the nearest pursuit to the end zone for the touchdown with 2:03 left in the first quarter. Nuygen’s conversion kick gave BHS a 14-0 lead.

Bixby’s explosiveness was on display early in the second quarter as senior two-way starter Kordell Gouldsby returned a Sandite punt 60 yards for a touchdown and a 21-0 lead at the 9:52 mark of the second stanza.

That scoring effort was followed by a 10-yard scoring run by Peters, a 33-yard TD sprint by Gouldsby and an 18-yard TD pass play from Kirby to Gouldsby with 1:29 left before intermission increasing the halftime advantage to 41-0.

Midway through the third quarter, Bixby increased its lead to 48-0 on a 10-yard touchdown pass from Kirby to 5-9, 157-pound senior wide receiver Garrett Vaughn with 5:58 showing in the stanza.


Bixby’s reserves got into the scoring act later in the quarter when 5-11, 163-pound sophomore defensive

back Tyler Wright intercepted a Sandite pass, maneuvered his way through several Sandite tackle attempts before bowling over the final Sandite player into the end zone for a 21-yard TD interception return and

54-0 BHS lead.

With 7:47 showing in the fourth quarter, Wright intercepted his second pass of the game for a pick-six of 41-yards, giving the Spartans a 61-0 lead.

“I was just waiting for an opportunity, and it finally came,” a smiling Wright said afterward. “Those were my first two varsity interceptions … it’s unbelievable.

“In our cover 3 look I’m the down safety. I was looking and saw the curl come back toward me and I just snuck under it,” he said of the first interception.

Sand Springs avoided the shutout when junior running back Ali McCoy ran 37 yards for a Sandite touchdown later in the final quarter against Spartan reserves.

“The touchdown at the end is on all of us. It’s not like we had the shutout … the team didn’t have a shutout,” stressed McCormick.

NEXT GAME – Since starting the 2023 season during the Zero Week, the Spartans will be idle Friday, Sept. 15. Bixby returns to action Friday, Sept. 22, when Norman North visits Lee Snider Field for the Class 6A-I-District 1 opener, starting at 7 p.m.

The bye week allows the Spartans to make corrections, get ailing players back on the field and prepare for the start of district play. “The bye week comes at a good time, some guys are busted up after this game,”

said Bixby’s 5-10, 297-pound senior defensive lineman Kason Hatley. “We’ll get things cleaned up and get ready for Norman North.”

NOTABLES – Bixby team captains at Sand Springs were Kordell Gouldsby, Sam McCormick, Hank Puckett and Cody Crull. “That was pretty awesome being a captain and being practice player of the week,” Crull said. “We come out and work real hard for those awards … it’s always nice.” … Through

three games, coach Montgomery is pleased with the Spartans’ progression. “We’ve got some explosive guys and our defensive front seven does some good things,” Montgomery said. “I think some of our

younger guys are starting to get some reps and grow up. We just need to eliminate some of the self- inflicted wounds.” … Bixby football games are broadcast by The Sports Animal, 97.1 FM, starting 30 minutes prior to kickoff. Shawn Tiemann returns to handle the play-by-play and Mark Wozniak is back

providing color commentary. Bixby’s Coach’s Show, featuring Tiemann as host, coach Montgomery and a Spartan player, is held at 6 p.m. each Wednesday at Doc’s Country Mart in Bixby.

OFFENSIVE PRODUCTION – Senior wide receiver-defensive back Kordell Gouldsby, a 5-10, 175- pounder, had another productive evening. He rushed twice for 34 yards and a touchdown, caught five passes for 49 yards and a TD and returned a punt 60 yards for a TD. In addition, he completed a 25-yard reverse pass to junior Blake Hogshooter for a TD, but the score was called back by a Bixby personal foul flag. Defensively, Gouldsby was credited with an interception.

Quarterback Carson Kirby was 11-of-15 passing for 133 yards and three TDs and QB Clay Peters was five-for-six passing for 66 yards and rushed three times for 29 yards and two scores.

‘D’ EFFORT – Senior defensive back Colton Kaiser led the Spartans in tackles with nine, including three solo stops. Senior linebacker Hank Puckett finished with eight tackles, four unassisted.

Senior linebacker Jett Turner was credited with six tackles, including three solo stops and three tackles for loss. Senior linebacker Cooper Parker also had six tackles, three solo, and a tackle for a loss while sophomore linebacker Trey McGlothlin ended with six tackles, two unassisted.

The Spartans recorded three and a half sacks and the three pass interceptions give BHS four this season. PENALTIES – Bixby was able to overcome 16 penalties for 124 yards while the Sandites were flagged five times for 40 yards. “It was a mess,” Coach Montgomery said afterward. “We had, I think, three personal fouls. We have to get that cleaned up. When you play a team that’s physical and plays to the whistle you can’t get emotional. We knew it’d be like that … but we’ll get it fixed.”

The 16 penalties were the most assessed the Spartans since they were flagged 17 times for 200 yards at Ponca City on Oct. 5, 2018. Ponca City ended with nine penalties for 105 yards as Bixby won 57-20.


BEST EFFORT – Being a top-ranked team and a consistent state championship game participant, the Spartans realize there’s a target on their collective backs. “We know every team is going to give us their best shot. We’ve just got to keep improving,” said senior defensive lineman Kason Hatley.

“We had a slow start tonight and penalties held us back, but we ended up with the win which is the main thing.”

Senior starting offensive lineman Evan McClure added: “Every team we play is going to give us their best. We’ve got some things to work on, you always do. But we had a good night, and we’ll just work to improve from here on.”

OPPONENT SCORES – Bixby’s 2023 opponents’ scores from last week include (home team listed in

caps): OWASSO 41, Broken Arrow 21; Norman North 31, EDMOND SANTA FE 28; Putnam City North 37, SOUTHMOORE 36; CHOCTAW 29, Westmoore 10; Moore 43, NORMAN 42, and JENKS 31, Tulsa

Union 24. Enid and Springdale Har-Ber were idle.

Bixby 61, Sand Springs 7


BHS – Sam McCormick 12 pass from Carson Kirby (Troy Nguyen kick) BHS – Clay Peters 15 run (Nguyen kick)


BHS – Kordell Gouldsby 60 punt return (Nguyen kick) BHS – Peters 5 run (pass failed)

BHS – Gouldsby 33 run (Nguyen kick)

BHS – Gouldsby 18 pass from Kirby (Nguyen kick)


BHS – Garrett Vaughn 11 pass from Kirby (Nguyen kick) BHS – Tyler Wright 21 pass interception return (kick failed)


BHS – Wright 41 pass interception return (Nguyen kick) SS – Ali McCoy 37 run (kick good)

2023-09-11T17:53:56+00:00September 11th, 2023|

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