MCALESTER — Few teams across the state have been more impressive in victory than McAlester, and none have been more impressive in the playoffs.
The Buffaloes haven't scored less than 28 points in a game all season, and they've averaged 61 points per game in three postseason wins on their way to Saturday night's Class 5A state championship game against Guthrie.
As impressive as the wins have been, none have been as beneficial to McAlester's state championship run as a Week 2 loss to Tulsa Washington.
“That (loss) is probably the best thing that happened to us, because we realized if you don't go out and play the way you're capable of, you're going to get beat,” said McAlester coach Bryan Pratt, whose team squandered a 35-10 second-quarter lead and eventually fell 47-45 in its only loss.
“That (second half) was probably the one time this year we happened to not be productive on offense, and I think that was a good thing for us to see that we have to play like we're capable of.”
McAlester (12-1) has played near-perfect football ever since. It's all been a part of the players “buying into the program” according to Pratt.
“The best thing about our team is we're not selfish,” Pratt said. “No one cares who's getting the credit as long as we're winning, and when the guys buy in like that it's a really good thing.”
Pratt's son, Caden, has set the standard as the Buffaloes' ultimate team player.
After racking up 2,673 yards of offense at quarterback and leading McAlester to the 5A semifinals last season, Caden moved to receiver this year with junior Dalton Wood returning from a heart condition that left him sidelined for all of 2012.
No. 2 McAlester (12-1) vs. No. 1 Guthrie (13-0)
When: 7 p.m. Saturday
Where: Boone Pickens Stadium, Stillwater
TV: FSOK (Cox 37/HD 722, Dish 441, DirecTV 679, U-verse 754/1754)