McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

Local Sports

October 4, 2013

Know Your Foe: Homecoming pits Buffs against Wolves

McALESTER — McAlester’s defense played well at Noble on Sept. 27, but Noble wasn’t a team likely to contend for a playoff spot. To win their district, the Buffaloes will need to replicate that performance against much tougher opponents.

In a game ranked among the best in the state, the Buffs welcome the Shawnee Wolves to Hook Eales Stadium for Homecoming on Friday.

“There are no flaws on them, offensively,” Buffs coach Bryan Pratt said of Shawnee on Tuesday. “Defense has been something we’ve struggled at before. We’re definitely going to have to come out and play well like we did last week and try to tackle the ball, improve in the things we’ve done in the past, and still hopefully get some turnovers.

“It’ll definitely show people that we’re either state championship material or we still have some room to work on.”

The Wolves come to town on a two-game winning streak, having beaten Tulsa Memorial in Week 4, 63-33. Friday’s game will match up two very potent offenses, as the Buffs have averaged 50 points a game through the first four weeks.

“They do what they do really well, and they’re very difficult to scheme for,” Wolves coach Billy Brown said.

“Who gets the most stops will probably win.”

Shawnee will try to get stops with a 4-4 defense designed to stop the run. Brown said inside linebacker Gage Humphrey has taken charge of Shawnee’s defense, having been a starter for three years, including in 2011 when Shawnee was a 6A school.

Though Shawnee typically plays just three defensive backs, free safety Don Murphy has helped create a solid Wolves secondary.

“It’s a ‘bend but don’t break’ kind of deal,” Brown said of his defense. “We’re not going to slash anybody and hold them to no yards, that’s not the kind of kids we have.

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