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Bixby Rides Defensive Effort to Oklahoma State Win

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Bixby Rides Defensive Effort to Oklahoma State Win

Doyle scored four tries in the final.

Two shutouts brought an Oklahoma state championship to Bixby as the highly-ranked single-school team beat Edmond 34-0 in the semifinals last week, and F5 51-0 in the final this past Saturday.

Senior Matt Doyle was a massive part of that effort, scoring four tries in the final. Recently accepted to West Point where he will play rugby, Doyle has been a standout at No. 8 for Bixby all season. 

Senior fullback Drake Poth was crucial to Bixby's fortunes with his team on the front foot returning F5 kicks with interest with his counterattacking runs. 

But it wasn't just the seniors who led the way. Freshman scrumhalf JD Martin kept the pace moving at the base of the breakdown, while sophomore lock Nick Roberts controlled the lineouts all game.

Centers Sophomre, Jayden Bartles, and Kevin Ordorica hit hard lines offensively and helped maintain the defensive structure, while Poth was assisted by wings Caden Hurt and Karsten Rice countered effectively.

Bixby struggled to piece all of that together in the first half because they kept committing penalties in the breakdown. F5 used those penalties to flip the field position a little, but as Buxby started to straighten out their issues, they started to score tries.

"We settled in and played as a team, moved the ball, and played solid defense," said Bixby Head Coach Chris Smith. "With regards to the defense, the zero points allowed in the last two games are more impressive to me [that scoring 85].  Especially against a couple of teams, Edmond and F5, that have some really strong runners.  To be able to contain and tackle well enough the entirety of both matches says a lot about our young team."

Except for Bixby's opening match to St. Thomas Aquinas, Bixby has held every opponent to under 20 points.

"The team improved all season, primarily in our set pieces, and offensive structure," added Smith. "One of the primary reasons for the advancement this year was the extra coaches we had. Jason Brewer and I have been it the past couple of years. This year Clint Basener and Patrick Whalen were also able to spend a lot more time with the team, which was huge. The game is still really fast for a lot of kids, and each week it seems like one more kid starts to find himself in a better position throughout the match, which tells you it's starting to click."

Bixby has been at the forefront of Oklahoma rugby for its 15 years in existence, but, surprisingly, this is the first time they have won back-to-back state championships.