Second-ranked McAlester came into Saturday night's Class 5A state championship game averaging more than 60 points per game in the postseason — including back-to-back 50-point outings against No. 3 Carl Albert and No. 4 Lawton MacArthur.
But Guthrie's defense finally found an answer for the Buffs, who had 300 total yards and a season-low point total in the 51-21 Bluejay victory at Boone Pickens Stadium.
“It just felt like we couldn't get in a rhythm offensively,” McAlester coach Bryan Pratt said. “We knew they were gonna bring some pressure, and we thought we'd be able to hurt them with some quick passing. We did that, but the turnovers killed us. Just couldn't get in any breaks, and it seemed like we kept getting ourselves behind the eight-ball every time we got a chance.”
Kelyn Hinds and Zontè Veasley had 11 tackles apiece for the Guthrie defense, which had four takeaways. Kai Callins and L'liott Curry each had an interception, and the defensive front kept constant pressure on McAlester quarterback Dalton Wood.
McAlester entered the game averaging nearly 270 rushing yards per game, but finished with 120 on 26 attempts.
“The good thing about having the two-week layoff is that it was like salt in the wound for a little bit longer about how great — and there's no denying McAlester's offense is as good as we've seen in years,” Guthrie coach Rafe Watkins said. “But our defense, we're pretty proud of also. They did it tonight against a good offense.