Stillwater Falls To Bartlesville 31-6
Stillwater, Okla. - The Stillwater Pioneers (1-5) entered Thursday night's game against the Bartlesville Bruins (3-3) in search of
their second win of the season after having suffered back-to-back losses.
With starting quarterback Braxton Noble sidelined by an injury, John Littell started as quarterback for the Pioneers. Littell
performed admirably for Stillwater against a stingy Bruins defense. The game plan for the Pioneers seemed to center around
controlling the line of scrimmage and establishing the running game early. Bartlesville's defense faced a heavy dosage of
quarterback keepers from Littell, who finished with 52 yards rushing, and runs up the gut from Cameron Mayberry.
The passing game for Stillwater was inconsistent, though Littell did show off his arm strength on a number of plays, including a
37-yard completion to Brandon Prather to set up a field goal attempt and a 22-yard completion on a 3rd and 20 play in the final
quarter with the game still up for grabs. Littell finished with 126 yards through the air, a performance that hopefully he can build off
For Bartlesville, they ran a mobile quarterback out there in Colten Penrod who managed give the Pioneer defense fits for most of
the night. Wide receiver Slade Nordic seemed to be Penrod's target of choice, reeling in a number of long receptions, including
one for 62 yards and a touchdown to open the second half.
There were a number of bright spots for both offenses, but the game was dominated and ultimately decided by defense. With the
game notched at 10-6 entering the final quarter of play, both defenses stepped it up, trading turnovers as they allowed the
opposing offenses to do little to nothing each time they had their hands on the ball. The Bruins eventually pulled away from
Stillwater late, scoring three touchdowns in the final 4:30.
"We had some protection issues, some busted route issues on some of those," head coach Tucker Barnard said after the game
about his quarterback. "That's not his (Littell) fault. We've got to do a better job of keeping him out of those situations. We've got
to protect him and not make him make throws under duress."
The game was much closer than the final score would indicate. The defense gave an impressive showing and coach Barnard
appreciated the effort.
"I was proud of them defensively," he said. "From a defensive perspective, it didn't feel like we played bad enough for 31 points to
be on the board."
The Pioneers will hit the road again next week as they take on the Sand Springs High School Sandites. Hopefully they can build
off of a strong defensive showing and continue to improve on offense.
10-18-13 by Matt Mitchell