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Guthrie claims fourth state title in a big way

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By Chuck Chaney
Special to Guthrie Sports Page

It was supposed to be a battle between the best defense in the state and the best offense. However, by the end of the night, the best offense and the best defense belonged to the Guthrie BlueJays.

Photo By Shawn Ingle

Photo By Shawn Ingle

Guthrie (14-0) captured their fourth state championship, second in three years, with the 51-21 win over the McAlester Buffaloes inside Oklahoma State’s Boone Pickens Stadium.

Rafe Watkins post game radio interview.

Guthrie led from start to finish, and senior Kai Callins was a big reason to why Guthrie was able to escape with such a big victory.

Callins had a career high 234 yards on 23 carries and four touchdowns. None were more as impressive than the final touchdown for Callins. After a huge defensive stand on the goal line, Callins took the ball 86-yards to give Guthrie a 44-21 lead with 7:36 remaining.

BlueJay fans everywhere started to celebrate.

Kai Callins rushed for a career high 234 yards to go with four touchdown scores. Photo By Shawn Ingle

Kai Callins rushed for a career high 234 yards to go with four touchdown scores. Photo By Shawn Ingle

“I was on fumes the last 30 yards,” Callins said. “I’m glad I just got in [to the end zone].”

Callins had a big run in the first drive of the game that led Guthrie into the red zone for their first scoring opportunity, but after a stifling stand by the McAlester defense, Luis Morales came in and made the 21-yard field goal. That gave Guthrie the lead that they would not let up at 3-0 with 8:38 remaining in the opening frame.

The only real mistake of the evening was a jump pass in the final seconds of the first half that was intercepted. The Buffaloes were able to take the interception back, and allowing Dalton Wood and Caden Pratt marched the Buffaloes to the end zone. Wood would find the end zone on a 1-yard touchdown dive.

After McAlester punched in their second touchdown, cutting the BlueJay lead to 16-14 with 15 seconds left in the half. The extra time proved to be vital in momentum before the half.

The Guthrie offense piled up 475 yards en route to 51 points. Photo By Shawn Ingle

The Guthrie offense piled up 475 yards en route to 51 points. Photo By Shawn Ingle

After a 32-yard kick return by Zonte Veasley, it was senior quarter back Reed Roberts finding L’liott Curry on the 41-yard touchdown bomb, hail mary style, with no time remaining. That changed the momentum and ultimately was a key component in crushing the spirits of the Buffaloes. Guthrie went into halftime with the 23-14 advantage.

L’liott Curry post game radio interview.

Touted as the best defense in the state, Guthrie’s defense showed why tonight. McAlester came into this game averaging over 61 points per game in the playoffs, but were limited to just 21 points. Guthrie’s defense forced a bunch of turnovers and held the Buffaloes to just 11 first downs.

Kelyn Hinds and Veasley were lynchpins on the Guthrie defense tonight, both tallying 11 tackles each tonight.Turnovers were huge in the game, with Guthrie forcing four. Three of them were in the second half. The first came on McAlester’s first drive of the game as the Buffaloes were driving, but some how Guthrie’s smothering defense forced a Wood fumble, and the Bluejays were back in business.For all the talk about the Guthrie defense, it was the Guthrie offense that shined tonight.

The Guthrie defense held McAlester to a season low 21 points. Photo By Shawn Ingle

The Guthrie defense held McAlester to a season low 21 points. Photo By Shawn Ingle

Before tonight, Guthrie had scored a combined 56 points in their previous state championships appearances, they scored 51 tonight.

Roberts was quietly impressive. The senior finished 7-of-9 passing for 161 yards and one touchdown. Guthrie’s top receiver, Curry, caught five passes for 130 yards and a touchdown.

Reed Roberts post game radio interview.

Guthrie’s 51 points in the championship game is the highest scoring total since OSSAA went to 5A being the second largest class. Also, Guthrie’s 30-point margin of victory is the largest Class 5A victory margin since 1997 when Carl Albert beat Chickasha 37-7.

The second half was really the breaking point of the McAlester defense though. Guthrie kept the ball on the ground and just continue to pound the ball into the heart of the Buffalo defense. Idae Alexander had two touchdowns on 18 carries and 67 yards, his 24th and 25th touchdowns, respectively.

Guthrie had 187 yards in the second half on the ground, four touchdowns overall. Statistically it could have been a lot better, but McAlester chose not to kick it to the Guthrie returnmen, and squib kicked it every time. It continued to put Guthrie into good field position throughout the game.

Guthrie has won four state titles and three of those seasons were a perfect 14-0.

Guthrie has won four state titles and three of those seasons were a perfect 14-0.

Callins had an interception in the third quarter, but Beau Davis forced a big fumble in the third quarter, that led to an easy Guthrie score, as Callins pushed his third touchdown into the end zone. Guthrie had given themselves some breathing room, now up 30-14.

However, as nice as it was to this point, the Buffaloes (12-2) would not go quietly into the night. Jerome Smith hit a 40-yard touchdown gallop, cutting the Guthrie deficit to 30-21 with 2:31 left in the third quarter.

Radio highlights of the Class 5A State Championship.

Just like Guthrie had done all game long, they marched right down the field and punched it in just three minutes later. Alexander found the end zone for his 24th touchdown of the season, giving Guthrie a 37-21 lead with 11:13 left to play. Alexander punched in his second touchdown and the half century mark off a 6-yard run with 5:50 remaining. McAlester couldn’t do anything else against the defense as Guthrie led 51-21.

For this senior class, they finished 49-4 in the last four years, that’s over 12 wins a season and won two state championships.

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