SAQ: Bixby vs. Guthrie
Bixby ended Guthrie’s season with a 27-20 win Friday night at Pioneer Stadium in Stillwater. The Spartans now move on to face Carl Albert in the 5A finals, a game Carl Albert should win easily. Here’s a look back at Friday night’s semi-final in Stillwater.
What went right: Bryan Dutton had a decent night throwing the ball with 189 yards in the air. Kentrell Brothers was the receiver on many of those completions and also had an impact on defense. Derrick Kelly had a nice night at tailback, scoring all of Guthrie’s touchdowns. Guthrie also did a credible job containing Bixby running back Dewitt Jennings who entered Friday nights’ game with 1200 yards rushing. He broke loose on a long TD run very late in the game, but on the whole, Guthrie did a good job on him. Jennings admitted so himself after the game.
What went wrong: It was hit or miss on pass defense for Guthrie. Sometimes its D would swarm Bixby QB Kevin Lamb, sacking him for huge losses. But all too often Lamb was able to get completions when he needed them, including a long 47 yard completion in the third quarter that gave the Spartans a point blank shot at the end zone and changed the course of the game. Lamb finished with more than 260 yards in the air which was the difference in the game.
What went right: Lamb was superb in the win. Bixby’s defense also made plays when they had to, forcing two interceptions. The Spartans also stood firm when Guthrie had a chance to tie or win in the final 1:30. Its defense also rushed the passer fairly well. Overall a great effort from Bixby.
What went wrong: Bixby showed some softness inside against the run. They also gave up some long completions and committed way too many penalties. Outside of those things, the Spartans were all they needed to be to win.
Summing it up: Guthrie coach Rafe Watkins is to be commended for getting his team as far as he did. Watkins is among the best HS coaches in Oklahoma and it was clear back in August he had some significant questions about how his young quarterback and offefnsive line would perform over the course of the season. While he no doubt would still love to be playing, Watkins and the rest of his staff, who also did a remarkable job this year, should feel quite good about the way things are set up for next year. Dutton is just a freshman and Brothers has another year left, too.
Speaking of Dutton, his development is another reason Guthrie got as far as it did. He played well above the curve for freshmen and had he not progressed throughout the season at such a rapid pace, Guthrie probably wouldnt have been in the playoffs at all. He should continue to improve next season, making Guthrie one of the top 5 teams in the class next season.
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