STILLWATER — Tre Porter heaved his helmet into the air.
Kenton Whittington, Kyle Croak and Anthony Frazier fell to their knees.
They were all celebrating the same thing, though — Carl Albert's 10th state football championship.
The Titans beat Bixby 21-7 in front of around 6,000 at Boone Pickens Stadium on Saturday afternoon, riding the back of senior quarterback J.T. Realmuto to yet another state championship.
"Where's the gold ball, baby?" Carl Albert junior running back Kenton Whittington yelled after the initial celebration calmed down and shortly after, Titans coach Gary Rose hoisted yet another gold ball.
"It never gets old," Rose said. "Every one of them is special."
Carl Albert won this state title they way they'd won the other nine—by fighting through early season adversity but turning things on in the playoffs.
The Titans lost to Tulsa Washington to start the season and to Shawnee mid-season but a combination of a stout defense and a gritty offense positioned the Titans for a championship.
None of Carl Albert's championship teams have finished undefeated.
"We're not always the best in Week 1 and maybe not even by Week 5 but we're always right there during the playoffs," Realmuto said. "That says a lot about our coaching staff."
For Realmuto, it was a fitting cap to a career that's led him to become the top career passer in school history.
He threw just 14 times against Bixby but completed some critical throws, including a 21-yard pass to Markell Walker on fourth and 15 early in the fourth quarter that set up his second touchdown run of the game.
"I feel like I've got the easy job," Realmuto said. "The offensive linemen have the hard job."
Two weeks ago in a double-overtime win over previously undefeated Tulsa Kelley, Realmuto had a career high 40 carries.
In the championship game, the Titans leaned even more of their leader.
Realmuto carried 42 times for 125 yards.
Carl Albert's defense also came through big, forcing five turnovers, two of which led to Titans' touchdowns.
The first came quickly, as Jeremiah Reed jumped on Kevin Lamb's fumble on the opening drive and nine plays later, Realmuto gave Carl Albert the lead with a 1-yard run.
The Titans then jumped up 14-0 on a hook and lateral play, with Realmuto first finding Walker, who pitched to sophomore Taylor Hawkins who completed the 23-yard touchdown play.
Bixby cut the lead to a touchdown late in the first half but could never find much consistency offensively, as the Titans held Bixby's normally potent offense to just 159 yards.
"We couldn't move the ball offensively," Bixby coach Pat McGrew said. "Defensively, we played as well as we could have. We had a chance to tie it there early in the second half but give credit to them for making some big plays."
Carl Albert is fifth all-time in state titles, breaking a tie with Thomas. Only Ada (19), Clinton (15), Morrison (14) and Jenks (12) have more.
The teams had played in each of the last two postseasons, with Bixby winning two years ago after the Titans built up a big early lead. Carl Albert won 44-6 in the second round last year.
"This is exactly the way I thought it would feel," Walker said. "Defense wins championships and we knew we had to step it up. We couldn't get too excited because we remember what they did to us when we were sophomores. We just kept playing our game."