Broken Arrow rolls past Bixby with top RB back
BY KELLY HINES World Sports Writer
Saturday, September 29, 2012
9/29/12 at 6:54 AM
BIXBY - Boosted by the return of tailback Devon Thomas and a turnover-free performance from quarterback Coleman Key, No. 2 Broken Arrow throttled Bixby 41-7 in a District 6A-2 matchup Friday at Lee Snider Field.
"It's a big burden off my shoulder having (Thomas) back," Key said. "That's going to help me a lot, especially in the long run. Especially next week against Jenks."
With the showdown against the top-ranked Trojans looming, Broken Arrow (3-2, 2-0) first needed to take care of business against the Spartans. After scoring on the first two drives, the offense looked at times out of sync.
"We really weren't mentally in it from the get-go," Tigers coach Steve Spavital said. "We made some great plays and it kept us in the game."
Many of those plays were from Key, who in the first half was 8-of-11 passing for 151 yards and two touchdowns - what he described as his best outing of the season.
"He really worked to get himself better, to be accountable on each throw that he threw," Spavital said. "You can tell that he's improved."
The Tigers led 20-0 at the break but seemed to turn the corner after halftime.
"I challenged them at halftime and we came out a little more focused and a little more ready in all phases," their coach said.
It also helped that in the second half, Broken Arrow had the state's top running back on the field for the first time this season.
Thomas, who missed the previous four games for undisclosed reasons, was given the ball on each of the Tigers' first eight plays in the second half. He finished with 10 carries for 104 yards and two touchdowns.
"It means a lot to the team (for Thomas to be back) and the team means a lot to him," Spavital said.
With backup Cameron Wrenn battling a high-ankle sprain, Warren Leak started at tailback and scored twice, including on a 28-yard pass midway through the third quarter that gave Broken Arrow a 34-0 lead. That touchdown was set up by a 34-yard punt return by Gabe Johnson.
Bixby (2-3, 0-2) got on the board with one minute left after Austin Boyer returned a fumble 16 yards and Blake Cooper punched it in for a touchdown.
Broken Arrow 41, Bixby 7
BA: Leak 21 run (Moore kick)
BA: Lewis 65 pass from Key (kick failed)
BA: Greenlee 19 pass from Key (Moore kick)
BA: D. Thomas 7 run (Moore kick)
BA: Leak 28 pass from Key (Moore kick)
BA: D. Thomas 45 run (Moore kick)
B: Cooper 7 run (Bucher-Jones kick)
Kelly Hines 918-581-8452