NewsOK: Oklahoma City News, Sports, Weather & Entertainment

Oklahoma Class 5A football: McAlester completes crazy comeback, tops El Reno in overtime

EL RENO – With defeat on the horizon, McAlester coach Forrest Mazey’s message to his team was simple: find a way. 

Erik McCarty, apparently, was listening.

After rushing the ball for just 8 yards on five carries in the first half, McAlester’s sophomore running back found the end zone five times in the second half and overtime, leading No. 7 McAlester to a miraculous 43-41 come-from-behind win over No. 6 El Reno in the Class 5A state quarterfinals.

The Buffaloes scored 30 unanswered points in the second half and overtime to tie the game up, including a 1-yard touchdown run from McCarty as time expired. He would then punch the ball into the end zone in overtime, and the Buffaloes' defense held strong on the 2-point conversion to end the game. 

“That was probably the greatest finish I’ve ever been a part of,” Mazey said after the game. “These coaches and this team found a way.”

El Reno dominated the first half, as quarterback Dorian Plumley found the end zone four separate times, two through the air and two on the ground, to give the Indians a commanding lead. He would finish 10-for-18 for 161 yards, with the two scores and an interception. More importantly, he added 154 rushing yards on 21 carries.

The Indians would score once more after halftime before McAlester started its comeback.

Down 35-13, McCarty ripped off a 31-yard touchdown to cut the lead to 16. 

The El Reno offense began to stall, and off the backs of playmakers Trent Boatright, Gavin Johnson and McCarty, the Buffaloes began quickly gaining ground.

“We told them at halftime, ‘You’re more than capable,’” Mazey said. “I could see us hanging our head a little bit, dobbers were down a little bit — but we found a way.”

Plumley threw his only interception of the game midway through the fourth quarter, and a short touchdown from McCarty, along with a 2-point conversion, would cut the lead to eight. 

Mismanaged chewing of the clock from El Reno would give the ball back to McAlester with around 50 seconds left. Boatright connected with McCarty for a 31-yard gain on the first play, but the offense couldn’t find much right after, leading to a 4th and 10 on the El Reno 42 with just 19 seconds left. 

Boatright took the snap, dropped back far, and heaved it. The ball would find Johnson at the 1. Only nine seconds remained as the chains were set, and McCarty barreled into the end zone as the clock hit zero. 

A 2-point conversion later, the game was in overtime with both teams at 35.

In overtime, the ball could only go to McCarty and Plumley. 

McCarty carried it three times, scoring a touchdown and the 2-point conversion to go up eight. He finished the game with 26 carries for 178 yards, with all five of his touchdowns coming on the ground. He also tacked on three catches for 78 yards.

Plumley carried it four times, finding the end zone in the fourth, but a false start forced the Indians to throw on the conversion, and the Buffalos would storm the field shortly after with a 43-41 win.

With the win, the Buffaloes advance to a Class 5A semifinals and will face McGuinness.

Related Photos
<figure><img src="//" alt="Photo - " title=""><figcaption></figcaption></figure>
Derek Parker

Read more ›