McALESTER — The McAlester Buffaloes figured a three-possession lead at halftime would let them coast through the second half.
The Booker T. Washington Hornets had other ideas.
The Hornets outscored the Buffs by 23 points in the second half, and Luke Beasley kicked a go-ahead 25-yard field goal late in the fourth to give the Hornets a 47-45 comeback win against the Buffs on Friday at Hook Eales Stadium.
“It’s hurting them, and it should hurt them,” Buffs coach Bryan Pratt said. “They let one slip away.
“To come out and dominate the first half like you did and play like you did in the second half is not going to get it done. It’s not going to win a state championship.”
After the Buffs and Hornets exchanged touchdowns early in the third, the Hornets started their comeback with a six-play drive that ended in a 34-yard touchdown pass from Cordale Grundy to Anthony Walker to make it 45-31 Buffs. Following the kickoff, the Buffs took over at the 20, and on the first play from scrimmage Dalton Wood tried to dump a pass over the defensive line.
Wood had tried the same play in the first half and been intercepted, and the sequence repeated itself, with linebacker DeAngelo Young picking off Wood.
“They’re just athletic,” Wood said of Booker T.’s front seven. “They can move.”
Just 28 yards from the end zone, the Hornets continued a pass-heavy offense designed to gain yardage quickly without burning clock time. Four completions from Grundy moved the Hornets to the McAlester 1-yard line, then Grundy ran it in to make it 45-37 Hornets.
“We were just more focused in the second half,” Grundy said. “We came out flat in the first half and weren’t ready to play.”
Grundy also ran one in from 12 yards out on the Hornets’ next possession, which came after a botched fake punt from Caden Pratt. The score cut the deficit to 1 with 11:52 left in the fourth quarter.