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Stillwater Pioneers – 2021 Pigskin Preview Feature – Presented By Jeff Bryant Shelter Insurance

Stillwater Pioneers 

Coach: TUCKER BARNARD

Schedule:
9-3 – at Edmond Santa Fe

9-10 – vs. Mustang

9-17 – vs. Bixby

9-24 – at Deer Creek

10-1 – vs. Del City

10-8 – at US Grant

10-14 – vs. Lawton

10-22 – at NW Classen

10-28 – vs. Midwest City

11-5 – at Putnam City North

Quick Hits:

The Pioneers have an active streak of 27 consecutive regular season wins and 18 straight district wins. 

Midwest City was the last team to defeat the Pioneers in a district game. Stillwater has since won three straight against the Bombers with a 22-point average margin of victory. 

Stillwater defeated Sand Springs 49-17 in the second round of the playoffs. It was the first meeting between the teams since 2015. Stillwater has won 30 of the 41 games in the series. 

Last 7 Years:
2020 – 9-1

2019 – 12-1

2018 – 12-1

2017 – 8-3 

2016 – 5-6

2015 – 5-6 

2014 – 7-4 

OFFENSE

The Pioneers were hit hard by graduation after last season. They lost thirty-three seniors from a team that went 9-1 and lost in the Class 6A-II semifinals. But head coach Tucker Barnard says that while his team has a lot of new faces this season, he does not think it will cause too much trouble. “We are looking forward to seeing what these guys can do,” the coach said. “I think some key returners will be able to hold strong and not lose the momentum that we have had for a few years now. They will help provide the leadership that the young guys need.” Gage Gundy (6-3, 210, Jr.) steps up to take the helm of the team at quarterback. On the outside, Gundy will have multiple receivers at his disposal, including Mason Butler (5-10, 160, Sr.), Ty Smithton (5-11, 175, Sr.), and Heston Thompson (5-11, 170, So). Looking to make an impact running the ball will be running back Holden Thompson (5-11, 170, So.). Anchoring things on the offensive line will be Jakobe Sanders (6-3, 275, Jr.). Stillwater opens the season with a tough road matchup with last season’s Class 6A-I runner up, Edmond Santa Fe. They also host Class 6A-II champion Bixby Spartans early in the schedule and 6A-II semifinalist Midwest City Bombers later in the season. 

DEFENSE

For Pioneer defense getting an upper hand on their opponents will be a key in winning defensive battles this year. Barnard says that his squad knows what they have to do. “We like to force pressure,” he said. “We work hard to keep the offense off-balance with multiple looks and movement.” A vital part of the defense will be at linebacker, where Gabe Brown (6-2, 210, Sr.) and Chance Clements (6-3, 215, Sr.) will be playing again this season. The duo combined for 110 tackles, five sacks, and two interceptions last year. Taking care of things in the secondary will be defensive back Eli Williams (6-2, 180, Sr.), who registered 31 tackles and three interceptions a year ago. Upfront, taking care of the dirty work will be defensive linemen Brayden Burke (6-2, 250, Sr.), Daesan Simpkins (5-11, 270, Sr.) and Zach Tyson (6-2, 230, Jr.). While they only tallied 34 tackles and three sacks last year, they are ready to make a much bigger impact this season and cause a disruption for the opposing offenses. Members of Barnard’s coaching staff include Chad Cawood, Clarence Holley, Jeremy Hughes, Charlie Johnson, Derrick Anderson, Eddie Hatch, Paul Grant, and Corby Smithton.

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