By RON HOLT
Bixby Football Writer
For the second straight week, Bixby High’s Spartans were explosive offensively and had a bend-but-don’t break defensive mentality in capturing another stunning road victory – this time romping past longtime rival Jenks, 57-7.
It was a rare win in the series but the second in the past three seasons for Class 6A-II’s top-ranked Bixby, 2-0 this season.
In Zero Week, the Spartans opened the season with a 77-44 romp at Mansfield (Texas) Timberview, which entered its season with high expectations.
In front of a large Allen Trimble Stadium crowd, Bixby seized the momentum early and for the second straight week the Spartans turned opponent miscues into points. Third-ranked Jenks, a Class 6A-I power, turned the ball over six times – five by pass interceptions – while Bixby took care of the ball providing zero gifts.
The Presley brothers – senior Brennan and sophomore Braylin – were dominating. Braylin ignited the Spartans’ ground attack, rushing for 118 yards on 10 carries and scoring four touchdowns. Brennan was a two-way star. He grabbed four passes for 144 yards and two touchdowns while intercepting three passes.
Junior quarterback Mason Williams was near perfect as he completed 16-of-19 passes for 291 yards and four TDs, while senior receiver Luke Creeger caught five passes for 51 yards and two scores. Senior cornerback Jordan Reagan intercepted two passes, his first of the season.
Bixby’s defense allowed 350 total yards but repeatedly thwarted Jenks’ offensive advances with clutch play and by coming up with turnovers.
“I think being able to throw the ball the way we can made them back off, so we thought we had a chance to run the ball. We had a couple of good looks, we practiced them all week and the kids executed well. It was good to be able to run the ball a little,” said 10th-year Spartan head coach Loren Montgomery, who realizes a need to keep the Spartans focused on improvement going forward.
“I think we’re a mature bunch but it’s one of those things that we have to make sure of is that we don’t become complacent and that we continue growing as a team. There’s room for all kinds of improvement out there,” he added.
Jenks, 1-1, failed to keep its first drive alive when an open Trojan receiver dropped a pass in Spartan territory on a third down play. Jenks was forced to punt with Bixby taking three plays to score as Braylin Presley raced 23 yards for a touchdown with 9:23 left in the first quarter. Reis Vernon’s point-after kick gave the visitors a 7-0 lead.
“We definitely wanted to establish the run,” said Braylin. “It worked out really well for us … everyone worked hard this week and the line blocked perfectly. It was a good game overall. We just need to come in confident and knowing we can win. And, we have to keep improving in practice.”
After Jenks’ second drive ended in Bixby territory, the Spartans needed two plays to expand the lead to 14-0 as Williams hit Brennan Presley, who out-legged the Trojan defense for a 79-yard TD at the 3:27 mark of the first quarter.
Jenks quarterback Stephen Kittleman was sacked to start the Trojans’ third drive. He fumbled the ball and Bixby junior linebacker Nick Wedel recovered at the Jenks eight. In one play, Braylin Presley ran up the middle for a touchdown and 21-0 Spartan lead after Vernon again converted the point-after.
Early in the second quarter, Brennan Presley stepped in front of a Kittleman pass at the Jenks 45. Six plays later, Williams connected with Creeger for a 11-yard touchdown and a 27-0 lead.
Things continued spiraling for Jenks on a bad snap on a punt attempt by Bo Estes. The ball rolled out of the end zone for a safety and 29-0 BHS lead. One play later, Williams passed to Brennan Presley for a 59-yard TD and 36-0 lead with 7:29 left before intermission.
Reagan’s second pass theft set up another Spartan drive, which ended in a 26-yard TD sprint by Braylin Presley for a 43-0 lead with 2:11 left in the first half.
“I think our improvement was due to watching film last Sunday and working out a lot of miscommunication we had on defense,” said Reagan. “I think we had a good preparation week and tonight we wanted to keep the defensive momentum. This feels great.”
On Jenks’ initial second half drive, Brennan Presley intercepted Kittleman and returned it 26 yards to the Trojan 21-yard line. Braylin Presley found an opening up the middle for a 21-yard, one play touchdown and 50-0 lead with 8:41 showing in the third stanza.
Brennan Presley set up the final BHS score as he snared his third interception and returned it for a touchdown, but a penalty brought the ball back to the Bixby 34-yard line.
This lengthy scoring drive was capped off by a 13-yard TD pass play from Williams to Creeger. Creeger caught the short pass and relied on a solid block by offensive lineman Caleb Townsend to reach the end zone. Vernon’s point-after kick gave Bixby a 57-0 lead with 4:32 left in the third frame.
“I think we improved a lot,” said Brennan Presley of the defense. “Coming off last week when we gave up a lot of points, we focused this week on making the right checks and things like that.
“Not many people beat Jenks at all and for us to come out here in dominating fashion at their home … I think we held ourselves to our own standards,” he added.
After giving up 44 points a week ago, the Spartans’ defense continued their turnovers caused advantage. In two games this season, Bixby’s defense has intercepted six passes and recovered three fumbles. The Spartans’ offense has two turnovers in two games.
“I think we improved a lot tonight,” said senior defensive lineman Owen DeWoody, who felt he played one of his better games as a Spartan. “Coach Flo (Rodney Flowers) had a great system for us. He worked us hard this week and things worked out. We practiced hard and saw everything on film that they would do.
“This win definitely boosts our ego, but we want to keep getting better throughout the year. It feels pretty good, but we’re not satisfied,” he added.
NEXT GAME – After playing in Week Zero, Bixby is idle Friday, September 13. The Spartans return to action Friday, September 20, in a non-district game at Putnam City, starting at 7 p.m. at Putnam City Stadium.
Bixby routed the Pirates, 64-0, last year at Lee Snider Stadium but PC pulled out a 37-35 home turf win over the Spartans in 2017. BHS led 50-0 at intermission last season. Putnam City opened the 2019 season with a 50-0 loss at Putnam City North Friday night.
NOTES – Jenks ran 64 plays to 48 for Bixby but the Trojans averaged 5.5 yards per play while the Spartans averaged 9.7 yards per play. … Jenks’ Kittleman passed for 255 yards, completing 22-of-37 attempts. Jenks only score came on a one-yard run by Griffin Forbes with 1:02 left in the third quarter. … Bixby’s last win over Jenks was 35-18 in 2017 at home while the last Spartan win at Jenks was a 40-6 romp in 1968. The 57 points were the most by BHS against the Trojans since a 68-6 Spartan win in 1958. … Bixby’s season-opening opponent, Mansfield Timberview, lost at Austin Lake Travis, 48-26, last Friday night.