By MIKE MOGUIN
GTR Sports Writer
Since Class 6A was split into two divisions, Bixby has taken five of the last six state championships in 6AII.
Its first state championship team came in the first year — 2014 — of 6A Division II.
Prior to that year, Bixby had reached the state championship game seven times but never came away with a victory.
Loren Montgomery, who had been an assistant under Allan Trimble who had built a powerhouse at Jenks, was in his fifth year as head coach.
The Spartans were led by sophomore quarterback Tanner Griffin and junior running back Nic Roller that year. The latter came from a family that has a history of athletic accomplishments at Bixby High School. Senior Kale Mulkey was a key target in the receiving corps.
Austin Grotts, Adrian Mica and Casey Saied were forces for a senior-led defense that season.
Bixby opened with a 66-20 loss to Jenks. But it would rebound in week two and would not lose again.
A 13-game win streak through the rest of the campaign began with a 51-21 rout of East Central, followed by a 44-20 romp over Springdale (Ark.).
Then came district play, where it cruised in victories against Claremore (47-6), Bartlesville (41-28), Ponca City (43-10) and Sapulpa (60-0).
A big win against Booker T. Washington (27-10) followed, then came a rout of Muskogee (57-28).
Next was a close 34-31 win against Sand Springs in the regular season finale.
In the playoffs, the Spartans cruised past Stillwater, 61-28, and in a rematch with Sand Springs two weeks after their regular season win, the Spartans rolled to a 41-14 win over the Sandites in the second round.
And then the big one — the state title game against Lawton in Moore.
Roller ran for 229 yards on 42 carries that night. He said in a postgame interview that the team had been working towards winning a title since he was in the third grade.
The Spartans took a 14-0 advantage in the second quarter, but the Wolverines would come back to tie the score.
Big defensive plays by Grotts and Mica set up a 15-yard touchdown by Roller. Mica then ran an interception back 35 yards and Bixby had a 28-14 lead. Roller added a five-yard TD to make it 35-14.
Lawton got a late TD but the Spartans had the game sealed for a 35-21 win and their first-ever state title. They would win the championship again the next two years. After losing in the championship game in 2017, the program has added two more and is now a dynasty and perennial powerhouse in Class 6AII.
The players spend quality time in the weight room in their offseason time and it shows.