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Class 5A championship notebook: Guthrie defense shakes up McAlester

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.
by Scott Wright and Jacob Unruh Published: December 14, 2013
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photo - Guthrie head coach Rafe Watkins reacts as time expires in the 5A state high school football championship game between the McAlester Buffaloes and the Guthrie Bluejays at Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater, Okla., Saturday, Dec. 14, 2013. Guthrie won, 51-21. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman
Guthrie head coach Rafe Watkins reacts as time expires in the 5A state high school football championship game between the McAlester Buffaloes and the Guthrie Bluejays at Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater, Okla., Saturday, Dec. 14, 2013. Guthrie won, 51-21. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman

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.

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by Scott Wright
Reporter
A lifelong resident of the Oklahoma City metro area, Scott Wright has been on The Oklahoman staff since 2005, covering a little bit of everything on the state's sports scene. He has been a beat writer for football and basketball at Oklahoma and...
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by Jacob Unruh
Reporter
Jacob Unruh is a graduate of Northeastern State University. He was born in Cherokee and raised near Vera where he attended Caney Valley High School.During his tenure at NSU, Unruh wrote for The Northeastern (NSU's student newspaper), the...
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