By Ron Holt
After being idle for almost three weeks, Bixby’s top-rated Spartans responded by opening Class 6AII-District 2 play Friday night at Lee Snider Stadium with a record-breaking offensive performance and a dominating defensive effort in a 74-7 rout of visiting Bartlesville.
Bixby’s talented senior quarterback Mason Williams, starting his third season behind center at BHS, provided the record-setting night as he passed for seven touchdowns to eclipse the school’s career touchdown mark.
Former Spartan quarterback Tanner Griffin, another three-year starter, held the record with 92 career TDs. Williams, who entered the game needing three TDs to break the record, now holds the mark with 97 career scoring tosses.
“I was really proud of Mason for breaking the record. It’s really cool having a guy with that much experience running the offense,” said Bixby’s 11th-year head coach Loren Montgomery. “I still see Mason continuing to grow and running our offense better and better.”
After being held to a 22-yard Connor Nolan field goal on its first possession, Bixby (3-0, 1-0) needed two plays to go out front 10-0 after Williams passed to junior speedster Braylin Presley, who dazzled the Bruin defense with a variety of moves en route to a 50-yard touchdown with 7:19 left in the first stanza.
A 23-yard TD pass from Williams to senior Jackson Rogers and two-point conversion run by Luke Hasz lifted the Spartans to an 18-0 first quarter advantage.
At the 11:28 mark of the second quarter, Williams connected with Hasz for a 52-yard touchdown pass play which was the record-breaker. Hasz hauled in the perfect pass while breaking a couple of tackles before reaching the end zone, giving BHS a 25-0 lead. The achievement was quickly noted by the public address announcer.
“I was just trying to play the game, but I kept hearing about the record. Then when it happened it was a great moment,” said Williams, who completed 19-of-22 passes for 387 yards. “It felt really good … it feels like I did a lot of work to get into the record book. I loved it.”
Bixby then made the Bruins (1-3, 0-1) pay for mistakes. After fumbling a kickoff and starting from its own two-yard line, Bartlesville saw Bixby start its next scoring drive from the Bruins’ 34. Williams ended the drive by completing a 35-yard TD pass to Jakeb Snyder for a 32-0 Spartan lead with 9:06 left before halftime.
Williams and Rogers connected again on Bixby’s next possession with Rogers grabbing a short pass, following his blockers before breaking free down the Spartan sideline for a 67-yard TD and 39-0 Bixby lead at the 6:57 mark.
Senior Devonta Owens intercepted Bruin quarterback Paxton Bradford to set up a 27-yard TD pass from Williams to L. Hasz for a 46-0 Spartan lead and when the Bruins fumbled on their next possession Bixby capitalized on a Williams pass to sophomore Dylan Hasz for a 20-yard TD, giving the hosts a 53-0 halftime cushion.
In limited action, Presley, who had a touchdown run called back via penalty, caught four passes for 91 yards and one score, while rushing four times for 30 yards. L. Hasz had four catches for 115 yards and two touchdowns and Rogers had three grabs for 98 yards and two TDs. Eleven different Spartan receivers caught passes in the game.
“On offense it looked like we had been off three weeks … we just weren’t quite 100 percent in sync, but we did execute a lot of good plays. We got some really good plays out of Braylin and the offensive line is getting a little better,” Coach Montgomery said.
“But I think the defense is the story of the game. We’ve got a lot of new faces, but they just continue to grow. Our defense was lights out.”
At halftime, Bartlesville had 38 yards of total offense. The Bruins, who averaged 2.9 yards per play, finished with 194 total offensive yards and didn’t get on the scoreboard until 9:09 remained in the fourth quarter on a 52-yard TD run by Dylan McCoy.
The Spartans’ defense had two returning starters from last season – linebacker Nick Wedel and defensive back Tanner Doyle. Bixby’s inexperienced defense shut out Union in the opener, stopped Jenks’ final game-tying drive to preserve a Spartan win in game two and limited Bartlesville to four first downs in the opening half.
“So far, those two guys we had coming back have done a great job of being leaders with so many young guys. I’ve challenged them even more the last two weeks,” said Bixby’s seventh-year defensive coordinator Rodney Flowers. “Even our upper classmen, our juniors and seniors, are sophomores experience-wise.
“We had problems making adjustments and getting some calls in early on, but they’ve done a great job and have had great practices. We tell them to play day-by-day because you never know what tomorrow will bring.
“We got after it a little during the break against our offense. We go against one of the best offenses in the state – in my opinion – every day so that should help us get better. The ceiling is high for these kids. We pushed them to achieve that level rolling into district play and they’ve met the challenge.
“The kids played hard tonight. They were hungry after being off for a long time. We had several busts tonight and there are things we’ve got to get right … those kids will get there,” Flowers added.
Beau Bertelli, a 6-0, 180-pound junior linebacker, finished with 10 total tackles to highlight the Spartans’ effort. Through three games this season, Doyle leads Bixby with 24 total tackles.
NEXT GAME – Bixby was scheduled to visit Putnam City West for a Class 6AII-District 2 contest Friday, Oct. 2, but the game was cancelled because of virus concerns. The Spartans instead plan to travel to Midwest City to meet Class 5A powerhouse Carl Albert, which had its scheduled game with Guthrie cancelled.
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. at Gary Rose Stadium, 2009 S. Post Rd in Midwest City. The Titans hold a 4-1 record in games played against Bixby and have won four consecutive Class 5A state championships.
Carl Albert, coached by Mike Corley, is 3-0 this season and ranked No.1 in Class 5A. The Titans defeated Midwest City (41-26) at home, won at Del City (21-14) and won last Friday at Guymon (63-0).
DISTRICT SCORES – In other District 2 games Friday, Sand Springs (2-2, 1-0) defeated Ponca City (1-2, 0-1), 35-10, and visiting Choctaw (2-2, 1-0) won at Booker T. Washington (2-2, 0-1), 26-22.
DISTRICT SCHEDULE – In other league games Oct. 2, Muskogee visits Sand Springs, Ponca City goes to Choctaw and Bartlesville hosts Booker T. Washington.
NOTABLES – Bixby is riding a 28-game winning streak. … Since Class 6AII began, Bartlesville has a 1-7 record against the Spartans, who have outscored the Bruins 441-161 through those eight games. Bixby has averaged 55.1 points per game against Bartlesville while the Bruins average 20.1 points per game. … In MaxPreps national high school rankings, Bixby is ranked No. 80 and is the No. 1 ranked team in Oklahoma. … Former Spartan quarterback Tanner Griffin, who previously held the school record for most career touchdown passes, led Bixby to three state championships (2014-2016). Current Spartan signal-caller Mason Williams has guided BHS to two state titles (2018-2019). “That’s definitely what I want to accomplish too,” Williams said of a third state title. “I feel really good about the way we’re playing right now.” Through three games, Williams has passed for 802 yards and 14 TDs.