GAMEDAY: McAlester downs McGuinness, advances to second-consecutive state championship

Nov. 27—JENKS — The Buffs are making history once again.

McAlester took a 39-29 win against Bishop McGuinness in the Oklahoma Secondary Schools Activities Association Class 5A State football semifinal at Allan Trimble Stadium on Saturday to advance to its second-consecutive state title game for the first time in program history.

"I'm super proud of them. Golly, what a team effort," McAlester coach Forrest Mazey said. "What a fabulous effort by them, the community everyone. So back to Edmond we go."

McAlester (11-2) will face Carl Albert (11-2) in the OSSAA Class 5A State Championship at 1 p.m. Dec. 3 at Chad Richison Stadium in Edmond — and Mazey hopes to see the stands painted black and gold.

"If you're not at Edmond (next week), I don't know what you're going to be doing," he said. "These young men are something special, because it's a team effort."

Senior back Blaze Baugh finished with 258 rushing yards and three scores — finishing with the fifth most single-game rushing yards in program history.

"It's a great feeling," he said. "I feel great. I always knew I had it in me."

McGuinness (10-2) got the ball first but McAlester's Eli Chatman picked off a pass.

The Irish answered with a 13-yard touchdown run the next series, forced a McAlester punt and punched in another score before adding a two-point conversion for a 15-0 lead.

But McAlester came back as Baugh slipped up the middle through the Irish defense for a 52-yard score to make it a 15-7 game after the opening quarter.

McGuinness opened the second quarter with a 27-yard touchdown run.

McAlester marched down the field before facing a fourth down — when Brayden Bumphus faked a run and connected with Malachi Wrice for a 15-yard score before adding a two-point conversion.

The Buffs recovered a fumble on the next Irish possession before quarterback Caden Lesnau bolted 23 yards for a score and a 22-22 tie at the half. Lesnau rushed for 71 yards and the score to go with 10-of-20 passing for 109 yards on the night.

The Buffs got the ball to start the second half, and drove the field. The possession was capped off by a 26-yard field goal from Trenton Greer to put McAlester into the lead.

The Buffs defense got a major stop, and blocked a punt to put the offense in excellent position at the Irish 40. That led to Baugh exploding forward, dragging defenders with him 23 yards for the score.

McAlester attempted an onside on the kickoff, and it was recovered by Drayton Pouncil for the Buffs at the Irish 45. But the Irish were able to get the ball back, and responded with a one-yard touchdown run to make it a three-point game after three quarters.

Defense would be the theme of the fourth quarter, with neither team willing to relent. But Bumphus would nab a key interception late, with the following McAlester drive resulting in Baugh blasting out 18 yards to slam the door and send the Buffs to the title game.

Contact Derek Hatridge at dhatridge@mcalesternews.com.