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Pioneers' Special Season Comes To A Close At Bixby
The Bixby Spartans capitalized on early opportunities and never looked back en route to a 61-28 playoff victory Friday night.

Stillwater dug themselves into a deep hole, trailing 21-0 after the first quarter. A Cameron Mayberry touchdown and a Brandon Prather kick return would give the Pioneers 14 points heading into halftime, but they gave away another 21 to the Spartans in the second quarter. By halftime it was 42-14.

From there, all Bixby had to do was coast.

"I think we played hard," coach Tucker Barnard said after the loss. "We got behind early with rough field position and a couple of turnovers. They hit us in the passing game early but honestly, not that we didn't work at it, but (we) didn't think that was going to be the thing that tipped us but it seemed to be that way."

Early on, turnovers bit the Pioneers in. There were several fumbles in the first half, and Barnard says it was probably a combination of the cold as well as Cameron Mayberry's fight-for-every-yard mentality.

The fact that Stillwater is even here is surprising. The Pioneers only won two games last season, and this was the senior class's first trip to the playoffs.

"It's a special group," Barnard said. "We pointed to this group from the time we got here and we saw those guys as freshmen. They fought hard and they persevered and gave it their best."

Now, the Pioneers must look to next season. But losing so much of the offense-Marlon McDonald, Brandon Prather, Braxton Noble, and Cameron Mayberry-will cause it to be a challenge. Barnard says that it's a mindset.

"We have to continue with the buy in," Barnard said. "Back to the summer. We were just talking today in the coaches' office (about) the way these guys committed in the summer. They were here every day and committed to the program. That's something we had been struggling with the past couple years. I think it's a great opportunity for the younger guys-the freshmen, sophomores, juniors-to see that and think that that's the way it's supposed to be."
11-16-14 by Chandler Vessels