STILLWATER — Kai Callins never enjoyed watching from the sidelines last season.
Sitting out with a torn anterior cruciate ligament, Callins frustratingly watched Guthrie fall early in the playoffs just one season after winning the Class 5A championship.
Callins and the Bluejays returned to Stillwater on Saturday and made themselves right at home.
He rushed for 230 yards and scored four touchdowns while coming up with an interception to lead No. 1 Guthrie to a 51-21 rout of No. 2 McAlester at Boone Pickens Stadium for the school's second 5A title in three years.
“It feels wonderful just to be back,” Callins said. “It was real tough sitting on the sidelines watching the team because I knew I could have made a difference. But just the way they overcame last year and then going into the offseason this year it was just tremendous.”
The Bluejays (14-0) now have four state championships, all since 2002. But it's the second for Callins and his senior class.
Each time, he was the difference.
“Kai had a special night,” Guthrie coach Rafe Watkins said. “I'd like to think if we wouldn't have lost Kai last year we would have probably had a chance to win it last year, but we just didn't have enough offense when it came down to the great teams there at the end.”
There was plenty of offense Saturday for the Bluejays, who piled up 475 total yards and never trailed.
“I didn't expect to put up 51 points,” Callins said. “I expected around 28-35 points, but they're a great team and just to put up 51 is mind-blowing, especially in a state game.”
Callins got off to a fast start with 67 yards on the opening drive, which resulted in a 21-yard field goal by Luis Morales. But then Callins started finding the end zone, scoring twice in the second quarter as the Bluejays jumped to a 23-14 lead at halftime.
He then piled up 135 yards and two more touchdowns in the second half, including an 86-yard scamper with 7:36 remaining.
“I'm very fortunate to have Kai in the backfield for me to hand the ball off and make plays,” Guthrie quarterback Reed Roberts said. “He's definitely grown as a leader and I'm thankful for that. Kai is someone I look to make plays and he did that tonight.”
Roberts made plays, too, completing 7 of 9 passes for 161 yards and one huge touchdown pass to L'liott Curry to end the second quarter.
That gave Guthrie momentum in the second half, and the defense delivered.
The Bluejays held McAlester (12-2) to a season-low 21 points, 300 total yards and forced four turnovers.
McAlester junior quarterback Dalton Wood completed 15 of 25 passes for 180 yards and one touchdown. He was, however, intercepted twice, including Callins' seventh pick of the year.
Callins, though, wants to remain in the backfield in the future, and Saturday proved just how valuable he can be back there.
“Hopefully they saw this game and know that I can play running back at the next level,” he said. “But I'm just glad we got the win.”