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Young Backfield Propels Pioneers On Opening Night
9-1-17 by Hub Roberts
EDMOND - Late in the first quarter, Stillwater's Morgan Prawl forced a fumble and Kameron Linsenmeyer recovered it.

Early in the second quarter, Ivan Porter snagged a pass from Edmond's Blake Burgess for an interception.

Late in the fourth quarter, Christopher Nelson sacked Blake Burgess on fourth down to turn the ball over to Gunnar Gundy and his offense on the fringe of the red zone.

That was the story Thursday night as the Stillwater Pioneers defeated Edmond Memorial 23-7 in the Pioneers' season-opening game.

The defense allowed 56 yards in the first half.

Edmond Memorial (1-1) could not get things going offensively, for it was forced to punt on its first possession and turned the ball over on its second. Throughout the first half, Edmond Memorial's longest drive consisted of four plays.

Stillwater coach Tucker Barnard credited his defense to his team's success.

"Defensively, I felt like we were breathing down their neck all night," Barnard said.
The only blunder for the Pioneers' defense came late in the third quarter as Edmond's Blake Burgess found Chris Pope on a slant route and took it 91 yards for a touchdown. Other than that, Stillwater proved that games are won and lost in the trenches with stellar play from their front seven all night.

On offense, sophomore quarterback Gunnar Gundy and receiver Garrett Leming combined for touchdowns of 40 yards and 49.
"[Those plays] were huge because we were having trouble running the ball, which is something we're not accustomed to," Barnard said.
Gundy was 9-of-17 for 171 yards and two touchdowns.

"As the game went on, he fell into a comfort zone and started to see things," Barnard said.

Gundy got plenty of help from freshman running back Qwontrel Walker, who rushed for 135 yards on 28 carries. He topped his night with a 10-yard touchdown run late in the game.
"This is a big-time environment to come in as a ninth-grader and play,'' Barnard said.