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Tremendous second-half performance by 2025 WR Blake Hogshooter in regular-season finale preserves Bixby's perfect record

Hogshooter caught 3 TD passes as Spartans rallied past Trojans to move to 10-0
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JENKS, OKLAHOMA - Bixby junior wide receiver Blake Hogshooter has emerged as a key go-to guy in the Spartans' receiving corps this year, and his number just happened to be called often Friday night in the regular-season finale at Jenks. 

Hogshooter broke out catching three receptions from sophomore quarterback Carson Kirby for scores, accounting for his team’s second-half TDs while they rallied from a seven-point halftime deficit to win, 31-14, Friday night at Allan Trimble Stadium in Jenks.

The win gave Bixby (10-0 overall, 7-0 in District 6AI-1) the district championship in its second year competing in Division I of Class 6A. The Spartans had to settle for sharing the title with the Trojans and Norman North last year after losing to Jenks in their regular-season finale, but still got the No. 1 seed due to point-margin differences.

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Jenks (6-4, 5-2) scored first in the game as quarterback Owen Jones hit Khy Beaty on a 31-yard strike. Jett Turner put Bixby on the board with a three-yard run to tie it at 7-all later in the first quarter. 

Trojan tailback Kaydin Jones then scored on a 36-yard rush with 3:22 left before the half, and Bixby was down 14-7 at halftime.

It was the first time the Spartans trailed in a game this year and the first time they had been down in a game since last year, when they were behind by the same score against the Trojans in the first half of their Class 6AI semifinal game at Broken Arrow.

Bixby went on to win that game 28-14; then captured the 2022 6AI state title the next week.

Used to having significant leads by halftime, Bixby found itself in a different scenario.

“Everybody knew that we weren’t playing the way we knew how to play,” Hogshooter said. “They (Bixby coaches) just told us we need to lock it in, do our jobs, do our assignments, and we’ll come out on top and that’s what happened.

“It (trailing at half) was a little difficult to deal with. But I have confidence in our team, and I’m pretty sure the players and coaches all got confidence in each other, and we knew we were going to get this win.”

Bixby's Blake Hogshooter 

Bixby's Blake Hogshooter 

The Spartans came out and the defense, led by linebacker Hank Puckett and lineman Brandon Hobbs, began shutting down the Jones’ (no relation) and the rest of the Trojans’ attack, paving the way for Kirby and Hogshooter to make their connections and scores. The TD catches were clutch, too.

Hogshooter’s first TD of the half was for 14 yards and it tied the score in the third quarter, ironically at 14-all.

A 35-yard field goal field goal by Troy Nguyen boosted the Spartans to a 17-14 advantage before the period ended.

Hogshooter then caught two long ones - for 42 and 36 yards - from Kirby, putting it out of reach for Jenks.

“It feels really great,” Hogshooter said. “It was the most touchdowns I had all year. So it was a good feeling.

"I think (it was) our offensive line and our coaches, everyone on my offense, really doing their job. If one person doesn't do their job, the whole play is busted. It takes everybody on the team to push the ball downfield.”

Bixby did have its most struggling game on offense of the season as it committed three turnovers, but its defense forced the Trojans into the same number of miscues. Bixby outgained Jenks, 405-210.

Hogshooter also said that he and his teammates feel good about the win, having prepared them well for whatever challenges they may face in the playoffs. 

The Spartans now take this week off, drawing a bye in the opening round of the 6AI playoffs. They will be at home for next week's quarterfinals, taking on the winner of Thursday's first-round game involving Broken Arrow and Norman.

Photo of Bixby's Blake Hogshooter (7) by Brett Rojo, Tulsa World 

-- Mike Moguin | @SBLiveOK