Spartans at Sandites: Only 23 games in 93 years, but lots of bad blood

By: Scott Emigh, Editor-in-Chief

The first time the Sandites met the Spartans was in 1922 under head coach A.R. Bateman. It was the final game of the season and Sand Springs went into the game with a 2-5-2 record. Bixby won 19-14.

Sand Springs got their payback in 1926, once again in the final game of the season, with a 30-12 win to finish the season with a 5-2-2 record.

The Sandites took the series lead in the final game of 1927 with a 20-6 win to finish the season 4-4-2.

The two teams didn’t meet again till 1978 in a preseason scrimmage that the Sandites won.

In 1980 under first-year head coach Gary Quimby, Sand Springs traveled to Bixby and brought home a 10-7 victory in the second game of the season. Eric Haines was the quarterback and the team went on to finish with a 5-5 record. That year also saw an overtime upset of #1 ranked Union in week 3 and 18-0 shutout of Sapulpa at the Chieftain homecoming in week 4.

The following year, however, the Spartans beat Sand Springs on their home turf with a 14-12 win, then in '82 beat us 32-6. The 1982 team was coached by Chris Thurmond.

In 1983 Bixby beat Sand Springs 21-4, the first year of Sandite coaching legend LD Baines and took a 4-3 series lead.

By 1984 Baines had turned the program around and quarterback Shawn Morand led the Sandites to a 5-3 home win, then a 14-3 road win in '85.

The series took a seven-year hiatus before resuming at Memorial Stadium in 1992 where Bixby won 20-17 in overtime to even the series back out at 5-5.

In 1993 Delvin Jordan, Sr. was the quarterback and Sand Springs won 26-20 on the road. Jordan was named offensive player of the week by the Tulsa World. That year the Sandites went 7-4 and saw the season end in a 24-7 loss to Jenks in the playoffs.

Sand Springs managed only four wins in 1994, but still managed to smoke the Spartans 33-7 for a 7-5 series lead.

In 1995 Current Girls Head Basketball Coach Dustin Morrow was the quarterback as the Sandites went 6-4 in the regular season, but lost 17-10 to Bixby.

1996 and 1997 were magic years for Sand Springs and both saw substantial wins over the Spartans. 140 pound Keith Hooks was QB and the season started with a 28-7 win in 96 and the first shutout of the series 19-0 in 1997. Sand Springs made the playoffs both of those years and in 1997 went undefeated till the state semifinals where they finished the season with a 12-1 record.

In 1998 Archie Loehr took over the program from Baines and the Sandites went 5-5, starting the season with a 30-6 win against the Spartans.

In 1999 Sand Springs had a 10-6 lead, but their streak would come to an end with a 23-7 home loss.

Dustin Kinard became the Head Coach in 2007.

The rivalry took a hiatus until 2010 when Bixby handed the Sandites a 48-35 home loss to cap a disappointing 1-9 season.

In 2011 the program began to see some turnaround. Bixby defeated the Sandites 43-23 and the team ended with a 3-7 record, but five of those loses were by a touchdown or less.

By 2012, Sand Springs had reestablished itself as a force to be reckoned with. Cody Hale was a record-setting quarterback that year as our boys had their first 6-0 season start since 1997 that included a 21-7 week two victory over Bixby. It was also the last time the Sandites would defeat the Spartans.

In 2013 Bixby won 35-21 and Sand Springs finished with 6-5 record. Hale threw for 207 yards in that game.

In 2014 Class 6A was split into two divisions with each having their own playoffs and championship. The inequality between the top and bottom of 6A was greater than the inequality between 5A and A, and schools such as Broken Arrow had freshman classes larger than the entirety of Charles Page.

Last year, Sand Springs went 8-4 and won their first playoff game since 1997 in a 29-28 overtime win at Midwest City. In the final game of the regular season, Sand Springs barely lost 34-31 at Bixby, but were handily defeated 41-14 in the semifinals due to a string of injuries that left the starting quarterback, runningback, and kicker all unable to play. The starting nose-tackle was out for non-injury related reasons and the leading tackler had to fill in at QB leaving both sides of the ball drastically weakened. The Spartans would go on to win the inaugural 6A-II State Title over Lawton.

Bixby took the lead in the series and it now stands at 12-11 going into tonight’s game.

This season Sand Springs technically stands at 4-4, 4-2, though it should really be 7-2 overall. Two of those games were wins on the field that were forfeited due to an ineligible player, and one game against Guthrie was cancelled shortly before half time due to lightning. Sand Springs was leading that game 18-7 when it was called off. The only true losses for the Sandites were 24-7 at #2 Bartlesville and 17-14 at #1 Booker T Washington.

Bixby stands at 6-3, 4-2 and has losses to Jenks, Bartlesville, and Booker T.