Class 6AII SEASON PREVIEW
by Ben Johnson (@BenJohnsonTul) 8/27/2019 8:17:02 PM
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STATE OF THE PROGRAM
If it’s another year of Class 6AII football, you can bet that Bixby will be in the mix. The Spartans secured another 6AII title in 2018 -- their fourth overall.
However, Bixby did lose several key pieces from last year’s team. Cade Cavender will need to be replaced at receiver and in the secondary; Clayton Barbour was an interception machine on defense and he’s now gone; Ryan Kerr kept the defense intact at middle linebacker and he graduated; and Noah West and Ethan Hall -- two outstanding defensemen -- also exhausted all their high school eligibility and graduated to college football.
But at Bixby, it’s always “plug and play” on the roster, so never count out the Spartans.
“Our team has been really focused,” Bixby head coach Loren Montgomery said. “We graduated some great players, but we have a great nucleus of leaders coming back.”
That spells trouble for the rest of 6AII.
Biggest on-field question: Who fills the void on the offensive and defensive lines?
Montgomery with a simple breakdown.
“The offensive and defensive lines will be a work in progress,” he said. “We graduated all three defensive linemen, but we have some great prospects coming back.”
Tallon Javersak and Hayden Haynes were key up front on defense, much like Cavender was an integral part of Bixby’s offensive and defensive game plans. But Montgomery has a player in mind to ease the pain of losing Cavender to Oklahoma State.
“I would keep an eye out for Luke Creeger,” Montgomery said. “He’s a senior wide receiver who we think will have a breakout year.”
Depth chart breakdown
Offense: Where to start?
There’s Mason Williams on offense, after he passed for 3,225 yards and 36 touchdowns as a sophomore in 2018.
“Mason continues to grow in our offensive system,” Montgomery said. “he had a great summer, and we are hoping he can only improve on last year’s performance.”
Braylin Presley is just now a sophomore and already has 743 yards and 12 touchdowns to his credit for the Spartans.
Then there’s Brennan Presley (Braylin’s older brother) at wide receiver, and he caught 67 passes for 1,081 yards and 10 touchdowns last year. And Montgomery already mentioned Creeger.
The offensive front figures to feature Kobe Williams and Matt Doyle as key figures in creating running lanes and keeping Williams upright in the pocket.
Defense: It’s Presley again! Brennan Presley, an Oklahoma State commit, has turned plenty of heads in the secondary leading up to his senior season.
Add in Jordan Reagan, another Oklahoma State commit, at cornerback, and the Spartans secondary is quite dangerous.
Key linebackers will include Zach Blankenship (state champion in wrestling), Brody Sartin, and Nick Wedel.
The defensive line could be more like a jigaw puzzle and figuring out where to place everyone early on.
Missed the most: Kerr, Hall, West and Cavender combined for 318 tackles last season. That kind of production can’t just be replaced overnight.
Aug. 30 - @ Mansfield Timberview (Texas)
Sept. 6 - @ Jenks
Sept. 13 - bye
Sept. 20 - @ Putnam City
Sept. 27 - Sapulpa
Oct. 4 - @ Booker T. Washington
Oct. 11 - Ponca City
Oct. 17 - @ Bartlesville
Oct. 25 - Sand Springs
Nov. 1 - @ Shawnee
Nov. 8 - Muskogee
*District 6AII-2 games
The 2018 season for Bixby was nothing but pure domination. Lost the season opener to Jenks but then rattled off 12 straight wins -- with most not being particularly close. This season’s schedule offers plenty of challenges, including six road games. But if the Spartans are able to plug in new faces along the offensive and defensive fronts, it could end up being another trophy-raising season for Bixby.
Class 6AII preview
**1. Bixby - Guys like Cade Cavender and Ryan Kerr are gone, but the Spartans still have talent all over the field with Brennan Presley, Jordan Reagan, Mason Williams and so much more.
2. Stillwater - The three-headed monster (Gunnar Gundy, Qwontrel Walker, Anthony Bland) is back for the Pioneers. Just have to wait and see who fills the voids left on offensive and defensive fronts.
3. Booker T. Washington - Sophomore quarterback Gentry Williams -- whose recruiting is accelerating by the day -- has perhaps the state’s top two targets in the passing game: JJ Hester and Keuan Parker.
4. Del City - The Foreman brothers graduated but Quinlan Ganther is back to lead the charge at quarterback.
5. Sapulpa - Expectations are high for the Chieftains with Eli Williams at quarterback and Te’Zohn Taft on both sides of the ball. If the defense is sound, it could be a big year for Sapulpa.
6. Midwest City - Bombers need to replace Preston Colbert at quarterback, who passed for 2,427 yards and 31 TDs last season.
7. Choctaw - Linebacker Jeff Roberson has committed to Oklahoma State, and he provides the Yellowjackets with an anchor on defense after collecting 117 tackles at Harrah in 2018.
8. Muskogee - Plenty of weapons returning for the Roughers this season, including junior quarterback Ty Williams, senior running back Jimmie Coleman and junior safety Caleb Webb.
9. Lawton - Wolverines have their hands full trying to replace Miles Davis’ production at running back last season.
10. Bartlesville - Bruins lost head coach Lee Blankenship to Mustang, but Jason Sport takes over with the luxury of having quarterback Ben Winters and safety Taton Hopkins returning in key spots.
** 2018 state champion
- Qwontrel Walker (Stillwater): Has compiled 3,060 rushing yards in two varsity seasons, and could finish on the state’s top 20 all-time rushing yards list if we doubles that over his next two years. Ran for 1,739 yards and 26 touchdowns during his sophomore campaign in 2018.
- Gunnar Gundy (Stillwater): Completed 143 of 226 passes last season and now has more than 4,000 career passing yards. Currently holds offers from Eastern Michigan and Toledo.
- Corey Williams (Choctaw): Split carries alongside Blake Muse last year, but now this year could see the bulk of the load after logging 778 yards and nine touchdowns.
- Gavin Houska (Deer Creek): Threw for 1,119 yards and 10 touchdowns as a sophomore in 2018.
- Eric Wiley (Lawton): Could become the focal point of the offense after the graduation of Miles Davis. Wiley threw for 1,424 yards and 18 touchdowns last season.
- Quinlan Ganther (Del City): Completed 59 percent of his passes and threw for 1,193 yards and 12 touchdowns as a junior last season.
- Ty Williams (Muskogee): Churned out a solid sophomore season with 1,046 passing yards and nine touchdowns, in addition to 1,147 yards and 11 touchdowns on the ground. Also picked off two passes on defense.
- Ben Winters (Bartlesville): Deferred to running back DeAndre Young a lot last year, but still threw for 1,355 yards and 10 touchdowns.
- Krishawn Brown (Booker T. Washington): Kansas commit enters his senior season after 119 tackles, 14 sacks and an interception last season.
- Mason Williams (Bixby): Somehow gets overlooked on a roster full of star power. Williams completed 68 percent of his passes last season for 3,225 yards and 36 touchdowns.
Our best guess(es)
MIcahel Swisher: Bixby -- Stillwater has all of the tools just as it did a year ago. But Bixby - like Bama in the NCAA and New England in the NFL - seems to just have that formula. Spartans do it again when it matters.
Whitt Carter: Bixby -- To say that Bixby has dominated this class since the inception of 6A-2 would ultimately be an understatement. The Spartans won it all again in 2018 and are surely the heavy favorite for their 5th title in six years. I think the talent of Booker T can certainly get it done, but I’ll go with the Spartans, who have it up front and out at the skill spots, as well as tradition.
Ben Johnson: Stillwater -- I’ll mix it up a bit. Hard not to go with Bixby, but I’ll side with Qwontrel Walker and his crew in 2019.