DURANT — Forrest Mazey is officially in the win column at McAlester.
The first-year football coach got his first win leading McAlester (1-2, 1-0) in Friday's 35-7 win at District 5A-3 rival Durant — but he was happier for the Buffaloes getting their first win of the year.
"I know what the kids are capable of," Mazey said. "You'd like to see the kids relish in it and do what they've set out to do. It's good to see victory in their eyes and their face, and understand what it feels like."
Sophomore defensive back Killian Barnes got two interceptions, replicating his two-interception game from Sept. 13 at Poteau.
He picked off Durant senior quarterback Jaxon Ingram in the opening quarter and got another interception with 9:43 left to play in the first half to set up a 20-yard receiving score for senior Colby Squyres.
"I read the quarterback's eyes once I saw his first break," Barnes said. "After that, I have trust in my back guys to make sure that if I do get beat, then they're there for it."
Barnes also made an impact on offense from the start. He took a handoff on the first play from scrimmage and threw it to junior receiver Gavin Johnson for a 32-yard gain.
The drive ended with freshman Erik McCarty running it in for a four-yard score at the 8:11 mark of the opening quarter for the Buffs' first lead of the season, but the extra point was no good.
Durant snapped it over the punter's head for a safety as McAlester took an 8-0 lead with 33 seconds left in the first quarter before the Lions answered with a touchdown.
McAlester turned it over on downs twice in the first half, but Squyres recovered a Lions fumble to stop a lengthy drive and from tying it late in the first half.
Senior Hayden Franks extended McAlester’s lead with 7:13 left in the third with a short touchdown run.
McAlester recovered another fumble that led to a five-yard touchdown by quarterback Chris Hilton and senior Layne Jarrett followed with a 23-yard run with 11:25 left to play.
Mazey said his team missed opportunities to scores, but believes the Buffs continue making progress.
"I'm super proud of them," he said. "Just imagine once they put it all together, 50-plus points in a game, and probably a shutout, too, because we gave them a little life there."
McAlester finished with 338 offensive yards and did not give the ball away — all while holding Durant to 151 total yards.
The Buffs rushed 50 times for 139 yards with senior Layne Jarrett's 62 rushing yards leading the way. Senior quarterback Chris Hilton completed 10-of-13 passes for 127 yards and a score.
McAlester will hope to keep it going next week. The Buffaloes are set on Oct. 4 to host rival Ada for the first time since 2011.
Contact Corey Stolzenbach at email@example.com