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Defending Champs Defeat Pioneers In First Round
11-11-17 by Jordan King
Coby Tillman ran in from the 3.

The score happened on the Bixby's first drive of the second half as it beat Stillwater 41-14 on Friday night at Lee Snider Field in the first round of the Class 6AII playoffs.

Bixby will move on to play against Midwest City, who beat Sand Springs 47-12, in the next round. Details have not been released for that game.

Tillman's touchdown extended the Spartans' lead to 35-7. A deficit Stillwater could not overcome.

Stillwater (8-3, 0-1 in playoffs) struggled to protect quarterback Gunnar Gundy, who was sacked twice, once by Tillman, on the first drive of the third quarter.

The line was without senior left guard Stone Mesa, who had a walking boot on his left foot. The trenches took another hit when senior center Jake Gray left the game when he got his right ankle rolled on; he did not return.

Junior lineman Samuel Smith said he appreciates how the senior class led the group. Gray, Mesa and Spencer Carter were seniors who started the season on the line, but were injured to finish it.

"I couldn't have asked for a better group of guys," Smith said. "Honestly, they're everything."

Coach Tucker Barnard said the team struggled to stop the run and run between the tackles on offense; two things he said the Pioneers did well during the regular season.

In the first half, Bixby (7-4, 1-0) had a balanced attack, which included three touchdown passes from quarterback Staton King. One came with about a minute left in the first half on fourth down to extend the lead to 28-7. King rushed for the Spartans other score.

On that play, Barnard got a personal foul penalty for running onto the field for what he felt was an illegal block by a Bixby player. After a lengthy discussion among four of the officials, the no-call stood.

The game was physical, for Stillwater had 11 penalties; six were personal fouls. Bixby had three penalties.

The bright spot on offense for the Pioneers was freshman Qwontrel Walker, who had several long runs on his way to 246 yards. He ran for a 57-yard touchdown in the second quarter, which were Stillwater's only first-half points.

Walker said though the team lost, he is motivated to win next season to show this year's senior class its work helped the program.

"I just wanted to win for them," Walker said.

Tyler Disidore finished his Pioneer career with a touchdown late in the fourth quarter; he had 18 touchdowns on the season.