TULSA – Fourth-ranked Booker T. Washington appeared primed for a Class 6AII-District 2 feature game against top-ranked Bixby here Friday night at S. E. Williams Stadium. Top-ranked Bixby was aware of the challenge it faced.
The Hornets were closer to full speed health-wise and were playing in front of a large homecoming crowd. Booker T. was ready to play.
But, so was Bixby. The Spartans, 5-0 overall and 2-0 in district play, relied on a stubborn defensive effort and clutch offensive play in spoiling the talented Hornets’ homecoming en route to a 31-0 victory.
Bixby was tested on both sides of the ball, but the Spartans finished with 306 yards of total offense while the defense limited a Hornet offense - featuring speedy sophomore quarterback Gentry Williams and Division I recruit Javian Hester, a 6-4, 172-pound senior wide receiver – to 185 total offensive yards.
“I was pleased with our defense slowing down Gentry Williams. You saw that every time he touched the ball how fast he is,” Bixby head coach Loren Montgomery said. “We scored the most points on them than anyone has all year. We made a few mistakes … but you’ll have mistakes when you play a good team.
“They knew we were coming to town and we knew they’d be ready. We’ll get the mistakes cleaned up … I’m proud of the guys,” he added.
Bixby faced a third-and-seven on its first possession before quarterback Mason Williams connected with senior wide receiver Trevon Holt on a 28-yard pass play to the Hornets’ 24. Holt sidestepped a trio of Hornets in turning a short pass into a lengthy gainer.
Two plays later, Braylin Presley scored from 19 yards out and Reis Vernon kicked the conversion for a 7-0 Spartan lead with 9:00 showing in the first quarter.
Bixby increased its lead to 10-0 when Vernon drilled a 27-yard field goal at the 10:02 mark of the second quarter.
The Hornets (2-3, 1-1) threatened midway through the second stanza, driving deep into Spartan territory before a fumble by Williams on fourth down was recovered by Bixby defensive back Tanner Doyle at the Spartan 44.
On Bixby’s first play, Williams passed to Holt for a 52-yard gainer to the Hornet four and two plays later senior Carson Chambers bulled in from one-yard out in the wildcat formation for the touchdown. Vernon kicked the point-after for a 17-0 lead.
Bra. Presley scored from 16 yards out with 1:24 left before halftime and Vernon kicked the conversion, giving the Spartans a 24-0 lead at intermission.
The Hornets dominated the third quarter, going on a time-consuming drive inside the Spartan five-yard line but a holding call on the hosts and a pair of Bixby sacks of Washington’s Williams snuffed out the most serious Booker T. threat.
Bixby finished the scoring when Holt got behind the Hornet secondary and hauled in a 28-yard TD pass from Williams with 9:39 left in the game. Vernon added the conversion kick for the 31-0 final score.
It was a career offensive night for Holt, a 5-11, 168-pound receiver, who also starts at safety and is Bixby’s long-snapper. He finished with six catches for 137 yards and one touchdown. He entered the Booker T. game with seven receptions for 61 yards.
“We didn’t really expect them to go man with a guy over the top on Brennan (Presley) so that really freed me up,” Holt said afterward. “Coach (Tyler) Schneider up in the box said to go best-on-best and see what you can do. Fortunately, I capitalized on that multiple times to help us get a victory. That was my career high for catches and yards … it was fun.
“Defensively, I felt I played like I have in several games but having J. J. Hester line up against you keeps you on your toes,” he added. “The win is even sweeter since it was their homecoming and they probably had their largest fan base. It was great getting the shutout here.”
The Spartans’ Williams had another productive night, passing for 236 yards and one touchdown on 15-of-17 completions. He was intercepted once. Bra. Presley topped Bixby’s ground attack with 88 yards on 11 carries and a pair of TDs. Brennan Presley had seven pass receptions for 96 yards.
The Hornets’ Williams passed for 54 yards, completing 13-of-21 passes while also running for 56 yards on 25 attempts. His rushing total was hampered by several tackles for loss. Freshman Jaiden Carroll led the Hornets in rushing with 62 yards on 14 carries. Junior Jalen Teague topped Booker T. in pass receiving with six catches for 33 yards.
“They are an extremely fast team, probably the fastest team we’ll play … we knew we had to contain their speed guys,” said junior linebacker Nick Wedel. “I feel we’re coming together as a group. When we were tested someone would make a play when we needed it.
“We had a little edge coming into the game since we were their homecoming. Getting a shut out on their field was special,” he added.
“I’m proud of our defensive staff for putting together a good plan,” Coach Montgomery said. “I’m super proud that when they were threatening to score, our defense bowed their necks. Our defensive line guys did a good job applying pressure (on Williams) and our outside linebackers did a good job containing him.”
NEXT GAME – Bixby returns to Lee Snider Stadium on Friday, October 11, to entertain Ponca City in a District Two encounter which also serves as the Spartans annual Homecoming Game. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. with homecoming ceremonies held prior to tee time.
Ponca City improved to 3-2 overall and to 1-1 in the district after rolling to a 21-7 home turf win over Shawnee (1-4, 0-2) last Friday night. The Wildcats of coach Scott Harmon opened the season with a 6-3 win at Enid and a 17-7 home win over Guthrie. The Wildcats then, in order, fell at Collinsville (21-7) and lost to Muskogee (47-6) at home.
LAST SEASON - Bixby captured a 57-20 victory at Ponca City, which finished 2018 winless. The Spartans had 484 total offensive yards – 314 yards passing and 170 yards rushing. BHS quarterback Mason Williams hit on 22-of-28 passes for 314 yards and two touchdowns while being intercepted once. Receiver Brennan Presley caught 11 passes for 117 yards.
“Ponca City is improved,” Coach Montgomery said. “If you remember last year, they had as good a plan against us as anybody. Coach Harmon is a good coach.”
NOTABLES – Entering the game, the most points the Hornets had allowed were 19 to North Little Rock, Arkansas and 17 to Bentonville, Arkansas – both losses. … Bixby is riding a 17-game winning streak … Bixby’s Brennan Presley didn’t score a touchdown for the first time this season as he was closely monitored by the Hornet defense. “I didn’t have a lot of stats tonight, but it didn’t matter as long as we came out with the win. That’s the main thing,” Presley said. … Bixby averaged 8.1 yards per offensive play while the Hornets averaged 2.8 yards per offensive play. … Booker T., which was victimized by 11 penalties for 100 yards, won the time of possession statistic – 31:00 to 16:57. … Vernon kicked his first field goal of the season against the Hornets.
DISTRICT 2 SCORES – In other district games Friday, Sapulpa (4-1, 1-1) captured a 55-40 home win over Bartlesville (0-5, 0-2), and Sand Springs (2-3, 1-1) lost 54-6 at Muskogee (4-0, 1-0). In league games this Friday, Tulsa Washington visits Shawnee, Sapulpa travels to Muskogee and Sand Springs visits Bartlesville.
NON-DISTRICT SCORES – Mansfield (Texas) Timberview (3-2) was idle last Friday. Jenks (2-3) romped at Enid, 62-10, and Putnam City (1-4) was blitzed 58-7 at home against Choctaw.