McALESTER — The McAlester Buffaloes faced a tough challenge in the high-speed, class 6A Stillwater Pioneers in Week 1.
The Buffs will face an even tougher challenge when the balanced, methodical Booker T. Washington Hornets, another 6A team, come to town tonight for Week 2.
“They’re a run team,” Buffs coach Bryan Pratt said. “They will throw it up quite a bit, but primarily they’re a run team, and they huddle up. So there will be a whole lot less snaps this game we’ll have to play defensively.”
This will be the Buffs’ fourth consecutive year playing the Tulsa-based Hornets. McAlester beat Booker T. in 2011 but lost last year and in 2010.
Junior quarterback Cordale Grundy led the Hornets to a 27-17 victory in that 2012 game, but he started few games last season. The 2012 Hornets went 6-4 in the regular season and lost in the first round of the playoffs.
A mobile quarterback who can both run and throw, Grundy seems like the right choice for the multiple offensive looks the Hornets use every game.
“He just had to get stronger,” Hornets coach Marvin Dantzler said of Grundy.
“Last year the couple of times he did play were good experiences for him.”
Dantzler said his team ran the ball 29 times and threw it 26 times in a 24-21 loss to OKC-Douglass in Week 1. The Hornets feature a dangerous receiving corps that starts with senior Arlando Johnson, who Dantzler said has already earned scholarship offers from nine Division I schools.
“He’s probably the fastest high schooler in the state of Oklahoma,” Dantzler said of Johnson.
“Taking him the slot where no one can really jam is really taking advantage of him.”
Booker T.’s offense also includes Myles Tease, a senior who Dantzler said has also been offered Division I scholarships, and Tryique Bitson, a sophomore who caught two touchdown passes against Douglass.