Buffs ready for home opener versus Prescott

Aug. 31—There's no place like home.

5A-No. 3 McAlester is playing host to a team across the state's eastern border Friday as Prescott (Ark.) comes to Hook Eales Stadium in the home opening matchup..

Buffs coach Forrest Mazey said he was proud of the way his team fought to overcome the challenges facing them and earn the season-opening win over Broken Bow.

"They found a way to figure it out, and do some things right to find a way to win," he said. "That's all you got to do on a Friday night...doesn't matter how you do it, just got to find a way."

But now, a new opponent is up against the Buffs as Arkansas' Prescott comes to town for McAlester's first home game of 2023.

The Curley Wolves (1-0) started their season in a big way, earning a dominant 56-20 win over in-state opponent Bismarck last week.

Senior quarterback Pierce Yates completed 15-of-19 passes for 333 yards and four scores in the Curley Wolves' season-opening win. Yates' top target was junior Dwayne White, with 124 receiving yards, followed by senior P.J. Gulley with two catches for 88 yards and a touchdown, senior Jaylon Johnson with 85 yards and a touchdown, and Spencer Hubbard with two catches for 31 yards and two scores.

Senior rusher Jahnoah Harris led the ground game, taking nine carries for 113 and a score, while sophomore K.J. Page added in 101 yards and two touchdowns.

Defensively, senior linebacker Talan Smith led the charge with 18 tackles, followed by senior defensive end Mashawn Rafter with 11. The Curley Wolves defense also combined for six sacks in the game.

McAlester (1-0) will combat Prescott with its veteran corps and young impact makers that also started the year with a win.

Quarterbacks Caden Lesnau and Lance Stone made plays both in the air and on the ground, combining for 111 passing yards — with Lesnau earning a touchdown score on a pass to Carter Lance.

Lance, Jaxon Lauerman, and Ethan Watkins combined for 104 of the 111 receiving yards, with Stone adding in another seven.

The Buffaloes combined for 186 rushing yards on the night, with Watkins and sophomore Jordan Clark leading the way with a combined 114 yards.

Defensively, Will Spears and Fyfer Mitchell led the way with 16 tackles each, followed by Malachi Wrice with 10 tackles, and Watkins and Drayton Pouncil with eight tackles each.

Dustin Jacobsen and Pouncil each recorded three quarterback sacks, followed by Jayden Shumway with two sacks, and Wrice, Owen Russell, Spears, and Mitchell all adding in another sack for a total of 12.

Lance also blocked two kicks, and Jacobsen and Wrice both forced fumbles.

Mazey said the Buffs need to increase their levels as they build on last week and prepare for the opponent ahead. They'll be hard at work all week long, working on a variety of things for McAlester to put its best foot forward — and come prepared to blast its way onto its home field for the first time in 2023.

"Breakdown tackling, fly to football, practice the way you play," he exampled. "As coaches, we got to bring better energy, and we've got to expect better energy from the kids."