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Stillwater Controls Trenches In Win Over Edmond
9-3-16 by Sam Grubenhoff
It didn't matter who was standing in front of them, the Stillwater Pioneers were going to run through them.

Neither of the Pioneers lines could be stopped in a 24-7 victory against Edmond Memorial on Friday night in Pioneer Stadium.

Up 24-7 with 9:25 left in the fourth quarter, Stillwater forced a driving Bulldogs squad into third and 16 on Stillwater's' 42. Several Pioneers defenders went through the offensive line to force the second fumble in as many plays. Defensive lineman Kameron Linsenmeyer fell on the ball, and Stillwater took over from the Bulldogs' 46, killing another Edmond Memorial drive.

Linsenmeyer said the Pioneers' use of quick hands was key to their performance on the line of scrimmage.

"That's one of our main focuses," Linsenmeyer said. "Hitting their offensive lineman before they can hit you, that helps a lot."

The Pioneers (1-0) hit first on the first play, and the offensive line paved the way for senior running back Josiah Castleberry, who had 32 carries for 274 yards and three scores.

On the opening kickoff, Stillwater surprised the Bulldogs with a pooch kick. The ball went in and out of the hands of an Edmond Memorial returner before Stillwater fell on the ball to take possession at Edmond Memorial's 29.

Castleberry took a handoff to the right on the first play and cut back for a 28-yard run. Castleberry took it in on the next play to give Stillwater a 6-0 lead that they would never relinquish.

It wouldn't be Castleberry's last trip to the end zone.

With 10:44 left in the fourth and the ball on Edmond Memorial's 19, Castleberry took a handoff to the left and cut through the Bulldog defenders, dragging one with him into the end zone for his third touchdown.

Castleberry's performance didn't surprise coach Tucker Barnard.

"He ran exceptionally well," Barnard said. "We knew what we had in Josiah, but I'd say he probably shocked a lot of people tonight. He's gonna get some attention he deserves."

Junior quarterback Garrett Leming, who made his first start, attempted only one pass but said with a running back such as Castleberry behind him, he will take a win any way he can get it.

"I'm OK with it," Leming said. "It keeps stuff off film. Other teams don't know what we can do. Keep the weapon in the tool bag until you need to use it."

Edmond Memorial (1-1) was never able to get anything against the Pioneers, managing to score on only its first drive of the second half. Bulldog running back Delvon McNeely took a pitch to right 29 yards into the end zone.

Barnard said a win against Edmond Memorial on opening night is special, but the Pioneers will take a win against anybody.

"It's always good to win," Barnard said. "It doesn't matter who we're playing. We're excited about victories. No doubt."