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High school column: Barnsdall makes smooth transition; Verdigris romps; Liberty ends drought

High school column: Barnsdall makes smooth transition; Verdigris romps; Liberty ends drought

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So far, so good for Barnsdall in its transition to eight-man football this season.

Barnsdall’s 62-14 victory over Copan on Friday night followed a 44-8 win against Foyil in the opener.

The Panthers move up two slots to No. 6 in the Tulsa World’s Class B rankings.

To help prepare for the move, Barnsdall coach Kylee Sweeney contacted several longtime eight-man coaches for advice.

“We have come out and adjusted well, our players have stepped up,” Sweeney said. “We’re excited to be 2-0 and excited to be playing football.”

Hunter Auschwitz has been a standout on offense as he has carried 19 times for 300 yards and two touchdowns. Middle linebacker Carson Auschwitz has led the defense with 20 tackles, including six for losses and two sacks.

Barnsdall hasn’t settled on a starting quarterback because seniors Keegan Marin and Josh Weber have both played evenly at a high level. Weber has completed 4-of-5 passes and Marin 5-of-7. Each has a TD run.

“It’s still a battle,” Sweeney said.

They are among the 13 who were honored Friday on senior night. Seniors make up 52% of the roster. An experienced group coming off a 9-4 season, that included a berth in the Class A quarterfinals, raised expectations for the Panthers entering 2020.

“We’re looking to build on last season,” Sweeney said. “We’ve got challenges the next two weeks with Summit Christian (2-0) and Claremore Christian (3-0).”

Tigers roar

For the first time in almost five years, Liberty celebrated a home win Friday — 28-6 over Fairland. Liberty’s last previous home win was on Oct. 9, 2015.

“It was a great atmosphere to begin with because it was the Army National Guard Game of the Week,” Liberty coach Shane Page said. “Our kids played really well and everyone was excited here, but our kids didn’t make it a bigger deal because they know they can do more.”

Page credited defensive coordinator Bill Adams for directing a unit that only gave up two first downs.

Stetson Still completed 16-of-30 passes for 281 yards and two TDs. He also had three sacks as a linebacker.

“He has a really good arm,” Page said. “What I love about him is what a great leader he is.”

Last September, Liberty snapped a 36-game losing streak. If Liberty (1-1) wins Friday at Caney Valley, that would give the Tigers their first two-game winning streak since they posted victories on Sept. 11 and Sept. 18, 2015 — that would be exactly five years ago.

Cardinals romp

On Saturday, 3A No. 3 Verdigris rolled to a 49-10 win at Miami. Caden Parnell had 10 solo tackles with two sacks, blocked a punt and scored on an 85-yard kickoff return. Dylan White completed 7-of-11 passes for 109 yards and two TDs — both to Hayden Jones. Alex Hess had a 72-yard interception return for a TD.

Also on Saturday in a matchup of top-10 Class A teams, No. 6 Pawnee defeated No. 9 Okemah 38-14.

Ridgerunners reign in DelCo Bowl

Emmanuel Crawford rushed for 201 yards, Kadian Forbis added 114 and each scored two TDs as Class 4A No. 10 Grove routed Jay 48-7 to reclaim the Delaware County Bowl trophy. The two teams have alternated wins in the rivalry since 2017.

“We were a little hungry after letting it slip away last year,” Grove coach Ron Culwell said.

Carson Trimble passed for 179 yards and two TDs. Greg McCurdy had two catches for 81 yards and a touchdown.

Ponca City prevails

Sophomore quarterback Grant Harmon went down with a shoulder injury late in the first quarter, but Ponca City was able to power through in a 23-22 victory over McLain on Friday.

Trailing late in the fourth quarter, Ponca City’s Elijah Phillips scored on a 4-yard touchdown run with two minutes left, and the Wildcats (1-1) were able to hold off McLain (1-2).

“Glad to get that first W,” Ponca City coach Scott Harmon said.

As for Grant Harmon, he is likely to miss around three weeks of action, Scott Harmon said.

With Grant Harmon out, sophomore tailback Cameron Jackson led the way with 32 carries for 198 yards and a touchdown. The Wildcats churned out 295 yards on the ground as a team.

— Ben Johnson, for the Tulsa World, contributed to this column.

Barry Lewis

918-581-8393

barry.lewis@tulsaworld.com

Twitter: @BarryLewisTW

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