In its first live action against an opponent, the Stillwater High football team’s offense picked up right where it left off last year.
Neither Putnam City North or Ponca City could slow down the Pioneers in the drive-to-score portion of Friday night’s scrimmage at Pioneer Stadium. Norman and Yukon didn’t have much luck slowing the Pioneers’ offense – with the exception of a few plays – during the rapid fire section to begin the night.
Stillwater had time to finish six drives when it faced PC North and Ponca City. All six drives resulted in points. Five ended in touchdowns, with one being capped by a long field goal.
“We were pretty efficient offensively,” Barnard said. “Golly, Qwontrel is super explosive. Gunnar is making great decisions. It was really good, as far as scrimmages go. That was pretty good. I’m sure when we go in and watch film, we’ll find some stuff to gripe about. If we’re willing to just let the results speak, it was a pretty dang good night.”
SHS senior quarterback Gunnar Gundy agreed. He only threw for one touchdown, because junior running back Qwontrel Walker capped three drives with touchdowns. Senior tailback Chris Jones scored the other Stillwater touchdown.
“It was fun,” Gundy said. “I was getting tired just practicing and weight lighting, so it’s good to strap it up and have helmets hitting helmets. I enjoyed it.”
“We ran the ball very well. O-line played great. Some young kids on the line stepped up and played really good. I had a fun reading the RPO and throwing little short routes to the outside. Anthony, Steven (Brown) and Donnell (Walker) played great.”
Against PC North, Stillwater began each drive at the opposing 40-yard line. No scoring drive lasted more than six plays, and the only six-play drive was Uriah Kirby’s 42-yard field goal.
A bad snap that resulted in a 13-yard loss on second down pushed the Pioneers back. Gundy threw one of his two incomplete passes on the following play in which he was trying to find senior wide receiver Anthony Bland in the end zone.
Kirby converted the long field goal, as it narrowly sailed over the crossbar.
“We talked about that for about three seconds whether we wanted to try it or not,” Barnard said. “He squeaked it over. It didn’t look real clean, honestly, so I think if we clean that up, he’s got a little more distance on that.”
The other two scoring drives against PC North were five-play drives. Walker, who only carried the ball five times for 63 yards in the drive-to-score portion, scored on runs of six and four yards, respectively.
Walker’s third and final touchdown followed Gundy’s only other incompletion. Walker ran right toward the sideline, before cutting through two defenders, breaking both tackles and scampering into the end zone for a 30-yard score.
“That touchdown by Qwontrel was vintage Qwontrel,” Barnard said. “There were three guys that should have tackled him, and yet he come out of it. He’s just hard to take down.”
Bland might have one-upped Walker on Stillwater’s next drive, which began at their own 45-yard line against Ponca City. One play after Bland caught a 29-yard pass, he caught a screen pass and tip-toed the sideline for 15 yards before juking out a defender and easily jogging into the end zone for the 26-yard touchdown.
Defensively, Stillwater allowed only a field goal during the drive-to-score portion of the scrimmage. PC North went three-and-out twice before making a 24-yard field goal.
Ponca City converted only one first down in three drives.
“Defensively, we really didn’t give up anything,” Barnard said. “On the rapid fire, there were a few times we gave up a few yards, but it’s not even realistic even. When we got the chance to come out here and call a play against an offense, we were pretty destructive.”
The only negative on the night was senior cornerback Cedrik Frazier suffering an ankle injury early in the scrimmage.
“We’ve got a few guys limping around,” Barnard said. “I don’t think anything is serious. We will get them to the trainers and see what’s going on.”
Stillwater will scrimmage at Norman on Thursday night. It will just be the two teams scrimmaging each other. The season opener is Sept. 6 at Edmond Memorial.
Follow Jimmy Gillispie on Twitter @jgillispie_stw for Stillwater High football updates.