Bixby holds off Jenks in heavyweight bout
BIXBY – Jenks opened the game strong Friday at Bixby and closed the same way, but it was not enough to overcome the second and third quarters, as the Spartans hung on for a 42-35 victory.
The Trojans outscored Bixby 21-7 in the first and fourth quarters but were outscored 35-14 in the two middle quarters.
“This was a great football game for starters,” Keith Riggs said directly following the game. “You never want to walk away on the wrong side of the scoreboard, but some of our young guys learned some hard lessons today. If they learn from them, we will be better for it. We have got to learn how to handle the highs and lows. We were riding high early and we didn’t maintain that momentum.”
Jenks (1-1) came into the matchup with Bixby (2-0) ranked No. 1 in Class 6A-1 and the Spartans No. 1 in Class 6A-2, so this game had the attention of most across Oklahoma.
It could not have started any better for the Trojans. On the third play of Bixby’s opening possession, senior cornerback Jayden Patrick intercepted a Mason Williams’ pass and took it 56 yards for a touchdown.
Max Paskvan was good on the extra-point and Jenks led 7-0 in the opening minute.
The Trojans tacked on seven more with 6:10 remaining in the first quarter on a nine-yard scamper from senior running back Grant Lohr and a Paskvan extra-point to make it 14-0.
Following an unsportsmanlike late hit out of bounds penalty that kept the next drive going, the Spartans answered with seven of their own on a Williams’ touchdown pass to Braylin Presley and a Conner Nolan extra-point.
The score after the opening frame was Jenks 14 Bixby 7.
Lohr scored his second touchdown of the night on a two-yard run with 4:37 to play in the second quarter followed by a Paskvan extra-point to make the score 21-7 Trojans.
That is when the Spartans woke up.
Bixby scored three late touchdowns in the final 3:20 of the first half. The first came on a Williams’ pass to Jakeb Snyder. The second came on an interception returned for a touchdown by Dylan Hasz from eight yards out and the third came on another Williams’ pass to Presley.
Nolan was good with all three extra-points to make the halftime score 28-21 in favor of the Spartans.
Bixby scored first in the second half, on a Presley run followed by a Nolan extra-point to make the score 35-21 with 7:13 remaining in the third quarter.
Jenks answered with a scoring drive of its own capped by a senior quarterback Stephen Kittleman touchdown pass to senior tight end Waylon Adams from 16 yards out. Paskvan was successful with the extra-point and the score was 35-28 with 5:32 left in the third frame.
The Spartans were not done in the third quarter. Williams connected with Jackson Rogers for a touchdown followed by a Nolan extra-point to make the score 42-28 heading into the fourth.
The Trojans cut the lead to 42-35 with 6:13 left in the game on a Kittleman eight-yard pass to sophomore receiver Ty Walls and a Paskvan extra-point.
Jenks was able to get the ball back with more than four minutes on the clock and two timeouts, but the drive stalled at midfield and the Trojans turned it over on downs with several seconds remaining.
Bixby took one knee and ran out the clock to secure the win.
“We hit some adversity and it just took us too long to snap out of it,” Riggs said. “We finally did. I’m really proud of them for how they responded there in the fourth quarter to get us back in the game and give us a chance to win at the end. I told the kids, it’s only a bad loss if you don’t learn from it. You play these types of games early on to get better and to learn from your mistakes. If we learn from this, we are going to be better for it.”
Both teams ran 69 plays. Jenks had 464 yards of offense and the Spartans had 388.
The Trojans rushed for 242 and passed for 222, while Bixby passed for 267 and rushed for 121.
Jenks was 6 of 15 on third downs and the Spartans were 9 of 18.
Kittleman finished the night with 222 yards passing on 14 of 32 completions with two touchdowns and one interception.
Lohr rushed the ball 18 times for 113 yards and two touchdowns. Griffin Forbes rushed 13 times for 73 yards and Kittleman rushed six times for 56 yards.
Walls had four receptions for 73 yards and a touchdown. Lohr had two receptions for 54 yards. Adams had three receptions for 54 yards and a touchdown. Jalyn Standford had two receptions for 22 yards and Forbes had three receptions for 19 yards.
Cade Stacy had nine tackles in the game. Joey Havir had 7.5 tackles. Ethan Bilgrien had 5.5 tackles. Lohr had five. Standford had four. A.J. Brown had 3.5. Chase Jackson had three. Patrick had three. Tyson Ward had three. Glenver Jones had 2.5. Thurber Coleman had 2.5. Quinn Hill had two. Kaiden Vannoy had one. Forbes had .5. Ashton Paul had .5. Jackson Standlee had .5. Montre Samuels Parker had .5 and Walls had .5.
Bixby junior Braylin Presley had 253 total yards. Presley had 115 yards receiving, 83 yards rushing and 55 yards in returns. He also had three touchdowns in the game.
“It takes all 11 guys on the field,” Riggs said. “You can’t have one guy mess up, offense or defense. You need to have everybody playing hard and doing the right thing. At times tonight, we had 10 guys doing the right thing and one who wasn’t and it was a different guy every time, so we have to be more consistent and we have to learn from this adversity. We have to be able to make plays when we need to make plays. We had our chances tonight.”
Up next for the Trojans is rival Union at 7:35 p.m. next Friday. The annual Backyard Bowl will be played at Allan Trimble Stadium for the first time since 1998.
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