SHAWNEE – There was no lack of offense on either side in Shawnee's 54-53 loss to McAlester at home Friday night. The Wolves and Buffaloes went back-and-forth throughout the game, which is perhaps why coach Billy Brown was the first to try for a two-point conversion to win it in double overtime.
“They played hard. I loved their effort. I loved the way we played hard, we just played dumb a lot,” Brown said.
Trailing 40-33 with 1:45 left in the game, Jack Diamond connected with Tyree York for a 70-yard touchdown to tie up at 40 apiece on a PAT by Bradean Barlean. McAlester retaliated with a long bomb, but a fumble recovered by Rhett Roach kept the Buffaloes from scoring and the teams held each other off through regulation.
The teams traded blows in overtime until Brown decided to try and end it once and for all. Trejuan Shaw took the handoff and bounced to the left side, but was brought down around the 3-yard line by a wall of McAlester defenders.
Shaw led the Wolves rushing with 70 yards on 9 carries. Diamond carried 11 times for 52 yards.
Barlean kept the Wolves in the game on two occasions where they had to settle for field goals. He booted one in from 25 yards out with 2:39 left in the first half and closed up the half with a 27-yarder to give the Wolves a 26-19 lead.
“He came through and made a couple field goals when we should have had touchdowns,” Brown said.
Christian Patterson was the first to put points on the board for the Wolves on an impressive kickoff return near the end of the first.
McAlester's Braden Parker ended the shutout for the Buffaloes with 3:31 left in the first after connecting with Brayden Klusak for a 74-yard reception. Patterson punched right back with a tactical 98-yard return to tie it up at 6-6. Barlean missed the PAT – his only fail of the night.
Diamond put up his biggest passing night of the season, despite missing his targets in his first nine attempts. He finished with 319 yards on 17 completions and 40 attempts, due in no small part to connections with York, who had 183 yards on eight completions.
Patterson had three for 60 and Braden McGinnis finished with 38 on three, including a bobbled 25-yarder to net the Wolves first down at the 10 and two plays later lead to their first touchdown of the second half.
The Shawnee defense couldn't find what they needed to fend off McAlester's offensive attack.
Parker finished 19-of-32 for 391 yards passing, 304 of that completion yardage went to Klusak.
“We could control the run and they knew that, so they started hurting us in the secondary and we busted coverage, after coverage, after coverage,” Brown said. “So we're going to fix that or get some new people in there and let them fix it.”
Whether it was the mistakes on defense, missed catches, rushed passes or any other number of factors that led to multiple missed opportunities and eventually the loss, Brown is out to fix the issues that presented themselves.
“We made too many mistakes. We've got kids kinda playing their own game and it doesn't work. We've got to figure out how to get on the same page or sit on the sidelines and watch everybody else on the same page,” he said.
The Wolves (2-3, 1-1) will be on the road next week at Coweta, who lost to Noble 35-31 Friday night.