EDMOND — A final heave got batted down as McAlester saw its historic season come to an end with the state's top two teams trading blows.
Neither team held a lead greater than seven points in the Class 5A state championship game as McAlester's first 13-win season ended with a 42-35 loss to Collinsville at Chad Richison Stadium in Edmond on Saturday.
“I’m proud to be these guys’ coach," McAlester coach Forrest Mazey said. “It’s a little emotional right now, coming up short. Just didn’t make enough plays there at the end.”
Second-ranked Collinsville (14-0) won its first state championship, while top-ranked McAlester (13-1) was playing in its fifth title game after winning in 1968 and 1988.
Collinsville got the only consecutive scores in the game with the last touchdown of the opening half and the opening score out of the break — then both teams traded scores through the rest of the game.
Erik McCarty — who finished with 31 carries for 268 yards and four scores — fought off cramps to punch in a three-yard touchdown and tie the game in the final five minutes.
But Collinsville answered with quarterback Andrew Carney sweeping right for a six-yard score and 42-35 advantage with less than two minutes remaining.
The Buffs converted a fourth down to keep hopes alive — but a heave to the end zone in the last six seconds was batted down by Collinsville's Oscar Hammond.
Mazey said he hated the ending for McAlester's seniors.
“I just love them. I don’t know what else to say,” Mazey said. “They gave me everything and their hearts…it’s tough.”
McCarty's big night help him tie the McAlester record for career rushing touchdowns at 73 — matching Kevin Brown's scores from 1994-1996.
The junior pushed his program record for rushing touchdowns in a season to 38 — and finished second in McAlester history with 2,009 yards on the season.
He got McAlester on the board first Saturday by pounding in a six-yard run for a 7-0 lead early in the first.
Collinsville punted on its opening possession before McAlester turned it over on downs.
A fourth-down conversion kept Collinsville's drive alive before quarterback Andrew Carney connected on a 55-yard yard pass to set up his own one-yard touchdown run. Collinsville went eight plays and 74 yards on the drive to tie it with 2:53 in the first.
McAlester answered quickly with McCarty juking past defenders on a 44-yard run to set himself up for a one-yard score and a 14-7 lead with 2:06 left in the first.
Then Carney connected on a 23-yard touchdown toss to Oscar Hammond to tie it less than one minute later.
McCarty punched in another one-yard score for a 21-14 lead through the opening quarter — finishing with seven carries for 124 yards and three scores in the opening period.
Carney and Hammond answered with another touchdown connection to tie it again at 21-21 with 9:24 in the half.
Both teams traded drives before McAlester missed a 42-yard field goal less than one minute before both teams entered halftime tied at 21-21.
Collinsville got on the board first after the break with Carney punching in a two-yard score for its first lead of the game with 7:42 in the third.
McAlester's Trent Boatright punched in a short score to tie it again just before the end of the third.
Carney later scored on a short run on fourth down to cap an 80-yard drive for a 35-28 lead with 9:53 remaining.
McAlester finished the game with 448 total yards — 310 on the ground and 138 in the air. Collinsville rushed for 296 yards and passed for 128 yards for a total of 424.
Mazey said he hopes the team uses the loss to build for next year.
"It’s not fun to lose — not when you put in the work and the time that these kids put in,” Mazey said. “I watch them hurt, and I watch them give and submit themselves to the program, and I want so much for them to win too. That’s the biggest thing for me."