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Pioneers Knotch First Win On Homecoming
After a rough start to the season, Stillwater finally gave its fans something to cheer about Friday night.

"It's just good to feel like you've finally accomplished a little bit," coach Tucker Barnard said. "We know that our work is not done. We're going to turn around and go back to work tomorrow, but for right now we're pretty happy and pretty excited."

Stillwater defeated the U.S. Grant Generals 49-6 on homecoming night at Pioneer Stadium in a nondistrict game. The Pioneers (1-3 overall) trailed early after the Generals' Roland Pichardo returned an interception for a touchdown on the game's opening drive, but quickly answered with a score and would then take control of the game.

Stillwater outmatched U.S. Grant (0-4) from start to finish, for the Generals had no answer for the Pioneers' dominant rushing attack. Stillwater rushed for 249 yards, with three players rushing for more than 60 yards.

The Pioneers' young offensive line had its best game of the season, for it dominated.

"It's nice to get a little confidence there," Barnard said. "We know that we've had some issues. A lot of guys have gone down with injuries and things like that, so for the young guys to bust some holes open, that's nice for sure."

Junior Jace Brownlee did his best to end the Pioneers' quarterback shuffle. With senior Jaden McCune out with torn muscles in his right hip, Brownlee got a chance to shine as Stillwater's lone quarterback, completing 5-of-8 passes for 108 yards with a pair of touchdowns. Brownlee added 32 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown.

"After I got settled down everything started to open up," Brownlee said. "I mean Jordan [Brown] was open almost every play. There was a couple plays where I ran when I should've passed."

Brownlee, though, was not impressed with his overall performance and said he needs to improve going forward. Fatigue became a factor for Brownlee, who also starts on defense.

"I honestly don't think I did a very good job with showing anyone anything tonight," Brownlee said. "I need Jaden more than I think because I start on defense, too, and playing linebacker and quarterback is hard, so when I get tired and I need Jaden."

Senior wide receiver Jordan Brown was limited to just two catches for 69 yards, but he helped put the Pioneers ahead early in the first quarter, with both his catches going for touchdowns of 34 and 35 yards.

With the game being well out of the Generals' reach by halftime, many of Stillwater's non-starters got a chance to play in the second half.

"We've got a lot of guys and certainly some our second team older guys that don't get a chance to play JV, they got to play quite a bit," Barnard said. "It was good. They put in a lot of work and it's good to get rewarded with some game time."
9-26-15 by Matt Mitchell