Home Playoff Game A Process For Stillwater
11-13-15 by Kurtis Quillin
For the first time in almost 10 years, Stillwater will host a playoff game Friday.
The Pioneers will play Sand Springs in the first round of the 2015 OSSAA 6A-Division II Playoffs on Friday at 7 p.m.
The last time Stillwater hosted a playoff game was Nov. 10, 2006, at Hamilton Field when the Pioneers lost to Owasso, 24-23.
That year's Pioneers finished 8-3, with two of their losses coming to Owasso and the other to Union.
Since coach Tucker Barnard arrived in Stillwater in 2011, the closest the Pioneers have been to hosting a playoff game was 2011,
when Stillwater tied for the district championship with Owasso and Union and ended up third in tiebreaker.
That year, the Pioneers went to Jenks in the first round and lost to the Trojans 38-14.
Over the next two years, though, the Pioneers went 5-15.
Entering 2014, the Pioneers were loaded with seniors. Sitting in coach Tucker Barnard's office - the 2014 Central Oklahoma
Athletic Conference Football Champion trophy, after the Pioneers went 3-0 through their conference portion of the schedule with
wins over Deer Creek, Mustang and Edmond North.
After a Week Four win over U.S. Grant, trouble ensued. Stillwater lost three straight to open district play: Midwest City, Lawton
The Pioneers then blew out Putnam City West on the road and Enid at home, going into Week 10 with a 6-3 record. Lawton
Eisenhower was headed to town and the winner would clinch the final playoff spot.
Stillwater won and then lost the following week in the first round of the playoffs to eventual 6A-Division II champion Bixby.
But entering 2015, the Pioneers had plenty of question marks. Losing a large portion of starters, including running back Cameron
Mayberry and wide receiver Brandon Prather.
One positive was the return of Tulsa-commit Jordan Brown at wide receiver. The Pioneers, though, started roughly.
They lost to open the season at Deer Creek, followed by losses to Mustang and Edmond North. A win against U.S. Grant took
them into district play 1-3.
However, come district play, Stillwater seemed to click.
The Pioneers averted Bomber Magic to open district play, on the foot of senior kicker Zach Bryant. Then, Lawton blanked the
Despite a comeback attempt, Stillwater held off Choctaw on the road, setting up a "Win and you're in" situation beginning on
After a loss to Putnam City West, it looked as if the Pioneers would end up in the four-seed, again.
The Patriots, though, then lost to both Enid and Lawton Eisenhower to end the season. On the flipside, Stillwater beat both Enid
and Lawton Eisenhower, which clinched them the two-seed, at 5-5.
"We've continued just, pushing the guys through, pushing the right buttons," Barnard said. "The kids have been great. I don't
know that I would point at a day or a time, I think it's been a process to get here."