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Pioneer Ground Game Too Much For Putnam City
10-28-17 by Jordan R. King
Senior Tyler Disidore came sprinting off the right side and hit Putnam City quarterback Amareion Newsome.

Newsome fumbled. It stopped a promising Pirates drive and spurred on the Pioneers on a drive.

Three plays later, senior Garrett Leming ran in from 1 yard.

The score tied it as Stillwater defeated Putnam City 39-32 on Friday night at Pioneer Stadium in Class 6AII-District 1 play on Senior Night.

Stillwater (8-1 overall, 5-1 district) had the most success running the ball; the Pioneers had three scoring drives without a pass.

Stillwater remains in contention for a district title, but it will need plenty of help. The Pioneers remain in third place behind Lawton and Midwest City, which won 46-25 at Enid on Friday night.

Midwest City is 6-0 in district; Lawton is 5-1, but the Pioneers are behind on district points, which are the total of the point-differentials from each game. A team can gain or lose a maximum of 15 points in a game.

The win also keeps Stillwater with a chance for a home-field playoff game.

Stillwater switched back to the wildcat running formation with about four minutes left in the second quarter and it dominated the game plan for the rest of the game. The first drive after the switch, Leming ran three times for 22 yards and the touchdown; he also ran in the two-point conversion.

Leming started Stillwater's next drive with three runs, but Disidore scored on the fourth play of the drive on a 30-yard touchdown run. The score tied the game at 25 heading into halftime.

The Pioneers ran 22 times out of the wildcat in the second and third quarters. Sophomore quarterback Gunnar Gundy had to sit more because of the wildcat success.

"I respect it because I can't be an all-time," Gundy said. "We brought in the wildcat so that worked out pretty good. I was like, 'If it ain't broke, don't fix it.'"

Gundy said the ground success helped him the pass in the second half because he struggled to get into a rhythm early.

Coach Tucker Barnard said the mix of Gundy, Leming, Disidore and Qwontrel Walker in the backfield at different times has improved.

"We got a lot working for us," Barnard said. "We just gotta keep working together."

Disidore finished with 114 yards and three touchdowns, including the winning score. He has nine touchdowns during the past three weeks, but he said he still thinks of himself as a defensive player.

"I love when they give me the ball, but more importantly I love playing on both sides of the ball," Disidore said. "I can't thank the coaches enough."

Putnam City (6-3, 3-3) found success through the air. Senior wide receiver Jawaun Bell caught three touchdown passes in the first half, including two on key third downs.

Bell used his ability to high point the ball on his third touchdown catch with 2:33 left in the second quarter. He led the Pirates with 124 yards receiving in the first half.

Putnam City struggled on special teams on its first three drives. The Pirates had two bad snaps on extra-point attempts and Stillwater lineman Samuel Smith blocked one after Putnam City's second touchdown.

Seniors Play Large Role On Senior Night
Friday night was appropriately scheduled as Senior Night.

Seniors made the key plays for Stillwater as it beat Putnam City 39-32 at Pioneer Stadium in Class 6AII-District 1 play.

The Pioneers (8-1 overall, 5-1 district) struggled to stop the Pirates throughout the first half.
Putnam City (3-3, 6-3) scored on its first three drives.

Stillwater trailed 18-10 when senior Tyler Disidore hit quarterback Amareion Newsome before he threw and forced the fumble. The Pioneers' sideline jumped and Stillwater gained momentum.

Disidore's impact plays were not limited to defense, though he maintained he is a defensive player.

Disidore and senior Garrett Leming had a large role in the running game, for Stillwater used the wildcat formation.

Leming, who normally plays wide receiver, ran for a touchdown, a two-point conversion and kicked five extra points and a field goal. He had 108 total yards, including 49 yards rushing.

Coach Tucker Barnard said the plan entering the year was for Leming to settle into receiver, but he said it is hard to keep Leming off the field.

"That's Garrett being Garrett, it's just what he does," Barnard said. "You can't [limit] a guy like that. He's too talented; he can do too much."

Leming gave credit to the offensive line, which has three seniors that start, for his success.

"There's nobody in the state like them," Leming said. "They're making me look good and making it look easy when it's really not."

Senior Jake Gray said tonight's performance was a good way to possibly end his career at Pioneer Stadium. Stillwater will have to beat Midwest City next week and get help to play a home playoff game.

Leming and Disidore made mistakes in the third quarter that could have cost the Pioneers.

Leming fumbled on the Stillwater 31, setting the Pirates up just outside scoring range.
On the next play, two Stillwater defenders forced Newsome to fumble again and Karsten Schuessler recovered and ran for a touchdown. The officials threw a flag on Disidore for a personal foul during the return; Disidore said the ref told him he hit Newsome with his knee.

Disidore made amends on the ensuing drive, for he ran five times to get the last 30 yards of the drive, including a 1-yard touchdown run.

"After costing my teammate that touchdown, I couldn't let myself go on that one," Disidore said. "So I knew I had to punch it in there."

Disidore said he has embraced the team's motto of "eat the captain," which is based on the movie "Jaws."

He said when he has a chance to hit the quarterback; he is trying to get the ball out. He said he tries to hit the quarterback as hard as he can.

"That was an, 'Eat the captain and swim away,'" Disidore said. "We were talking about that on the sideline. That's been our motto the whole year and we lived up to it."

Barnard said it was a culmination of the message his staff has given the senior group for several years.

"They've gotten better and better and better at holding their composure when things are really, really hard," Barnard said. "That's really what it comes down to, you just gotta withstand the pressure longer."