Stillwater High didn’t miss a beat Friday night after being forced to cancel last week’s highly-anticipated game.
The Pioneers kick-started their district schedule by scoring touchdowns on their first eight drives of the night at Pioneer Stadium. No drive was longer than eight plays, and three of the drives came after they intercepted Deer Creek quarterback Brett Pense.
The only drive that didn’t result in a touchdown was the final one before halftime. It was one play as Stillwater ran out the clock before heading to the locker room.
After the dust settled, Stillwater routed Deer Creek, 62-16, beginning its Class 6A-II District 1 slate with a 1-0 record.
“The offense was rolling and looked really good,” Barnard said. “I’m really proud of the way they played. Huge night by Qwontrel (Walker). Caleb (Allen) and Steven (Brown) had a big night. We’re looking good, but we’ll keep working.”
SHS senior quarterback Caleb Allen threw all over the field in Friday’s victory. He completed passes to five different receivers, throwing five touchdown passes to a trio of wideouts.
Allen found seniors Steven Brown and A.J. Frost for a pair of touchdowns before a short pass to senior Tevin Williams turned into an 80-yard TD strike in the second quarter. Allen finished the game completing 19 of 28 passes for 302 yards.
“We’ve talked a lot about Caleb, Steven, Donnell (Wagner), A.J. (Frost) and Ty (Smithton), and how they’ve come along and progressed really quickly,” Barnard said. “Steven was obviously a big player for us last year, but all of those other guys are basically new faces in the offense, and they’re performing really well and not making many mistakes.”
Brown racked up seven receptions for 85 yards and two touchdowns, while Frost caught three passes for 32 yards and two scores – all in the first half. They exchanged touchdowns in the first half, catching scores of 28, 15, 11 and seven yards.
The longest touchdown of the night belonged to Williams. He nearly had what would have been a 66-yard TD catch, but the ball bounced off his hands.
One quarter later, the SHS cornerback, who is committed to Baylor, caught an eight-yard pass, turned to the outside and sprinted down the sideline for an 80-yard score.
“I didn’t see the first one, I just heard the crowd reaction,” Barnard said. “The second one, as soon as he caught it, you knew what was happening there. He’s got great speed. It’s great to see him in the end zone, it’s fun.”
To arguably no one’s surprise, Stillwater senior running back Qwontrel Walker had another big game. He carried the ball 14 times for 232 yards and three touchdowns. All of that came in the first half, as Walker never played a snap in the second half with the Pioneers leading by 42 at the break.
Friday marked his third-straight game – and fifth overall dating back to last year – to rush for more than 200 yards on the ground to begin the season.
To put it in perspective, Walker rushed for more than 200 yards just four times last year en route to running for 2,018 yards on the season.
“He’s a special, special running back,” Barnard said. “We’re yelling from a mountain top, banging on a drum that some college coaches need to recognize what kind of talent he is, and he can literally do everything you want a running back to do.”
Walker’s biggest run of the night was his second to last with his final one being a short one before half. The longest was a 62-yard blast up through the middle of the DC defense before sprinting down the SHS sideline.
“The hole opened up late, so I was just floating in the back field until I saw it open up,” Walker said. “Then I just exploded.”
Junior Mason Butler spelled Walker in the second half. Butler ran for 69 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries.
Stillwater’s defense did allow Pense to throw for 255 yards, but the Pioneers intercepted him three times with a trio of different players. They were junior Eli Williams, senior Braeden Bennett and senior Eyuel Abame.
The Pioneers also held Deer Creek to 69 yards rushing on 31 attempts. Michael Holley led the Antlers with 50 yards on 16 carries.
The one thing Barnard didn’t like was two blown coverages that led to first-half touchdowns. The passes went for 39 and 31 yards, respectively.
“Those two busts are my position, so I take the blame for that,” Barnard said. “We’ve got to get that fixed. We worked hard preparing for Deer Creek. … We just have to be more disciplined.”
Stillwater is scheduled to travel to Del City next week for a game that many believe could determine the district champion. It is slated to start at 7 p.m. Friday night.
Follow News Press sports reporter Jimmy Gillispie on Twitter @jgillispie_stw for updates on Stillwater High athletics.