Monday Morning QB: What went wrong in the McAlester Area in Week 2

Last Updated: September 11, 20235.4 min read

With some upsets and unprecedented victories, here’s my take on what went wrong in the McAlester Area this past Friday.

McAlester Buffs vs. Ada Cougars

In this heavily anticipated rivalry, I thought 5A-No. 3 McAlester and 4A-No. 10 Ada would be evenly matched. The game, however, showed the Cougars taking control and emerging victorious, 44-20.

From Coach Mazey’s perspective, the Buffs were outplayed, and out-coached — in every aspect.

I felt McAlester did not seem to play with the same intensity as the Cougars, and it showed in the final score. McAlester seemed to have a strategy at the beginning of the game, but they were unable to execute routine plays they normally make. Caden Lesnau and Zac Rogers were some notable players for the Buffs, keeping McAlester’s hopes alive.

“When it rains, it pours,” McAlester Head Coach Mazey said.

“Like I just told the kids, you need to put this in your back pocket, and you need to see we got served a piece of humble pie tonight. We needed this,” he added. “Ultimately, it falls back on me and I’ve got to get it fixed.”

The Cougars were hungry for a win after being bested by McAlester since 2019. I felt that Ada did a great job of handling adversity through out the game, but still need more consistency on the offensive side of the ball. Ada had quite a few standout players that made some exceptional plays. Kolten Carlock had a great game on both sides of the football. Will Johnson also played extremely well on the defensive line and offensive line.

“I’m real proud of our guys, they played with tremendous effort and lots of intensity all night!” Ada Head Coach Osteen said.

Both teams will have the week off this coming Friday.

Caden Lesnau is tackled by an Ada defender. McAlester vs. Ada – 9/8/2023

Hartshorne Miners vs. Heavener Wolves

In a game filled with twists and turns, the Heavener Wolves managed to secure a hard-fought victory over the Hartshorne Miners, 36-26. Slow play calls and time management issues plagued the Miners, ultimately proving costly in this Week 3 matchup.

The Miners came out strong against the Wolves in the first quarter, even being up 14-0. However, Heavener responded well and the game was evenly split 14-14 at halftime, with Jackson Armstrong’s remarkable 80-yard TD run, followed by a 2-point conversion by Jackson Club. Both teams showcased their running prowess, with Armstrong and PJ Ridley for the Wolves and Jackson Moody and Kelby Thomason for the Miners.

Moody was beaten up the whole game, and took it like a champion. He fought through adversity, tough play calls and an athletic opposing defensive front, passing for touchdowns and crucial yards throughout the game.

The third quarter saw Moody making key tackles and Ridley contributing to the Wolves offense with strong runs. The Hartshorne defense stepped up, with Acetin Rowell holding Heavener on 4th down. The Miners took over, and Moody connected with Miller for a 30-yard run.

However, in my opinion, the Miners continued to struggle with play calls and clock management, allowing Heavener to tie the game at 22-22.

The fourth quarter started with Malachi Sunagoowie drawing a fumble, and the Miners gained possession at their own 20. A 50-yard pass from Moody to Lindley set up the Miners in Heavener territory. However, the offensive line left Moody vulnerable, leading to a sack. Despite a touchdown reception by Miller, a failed 2-point conversion due to lack of urgency put the Miners ahead 26-22. The Miners’ defense, with standout players like Moody, Miller, Treyce Morgan, and Sunagoowie, made some crucial tackles. But with Moody off the field on defense, Armstrong scored for Heavener, and the extra point was good, putting the Wolves up 29-26.

Heavener continued to run the ball effectively, ultimately securing a 36-26 victory with 2:29 left in the game.

The Miners have got to better in future games at giving their players more time on the field, protecting the quarterback and playing with urgency, aspects I felt were costly in this week’s loss.

“We’ve gotta be more consistent, but I feel like the team played together,” Head Coach Williams said.

The Miners will be off this coming Friday for their bye week.

Jackson Moody readies to throw a pass, Hartshorne vs. Heavener, 9/8/2023 – Photo: Monica Brown

Savanna Bulldogs vs. Canadian Cougars

Lightning and bad weather plagued many parts of Southeast Oklahoma this past Friday, and Savanna and Canadian were not exempt from Mother Nature’s doings.

The game ended in a tie 6-6 due to power being knocked out at the stadium.

There isn’t much to tell with this matchup. “Both teams scored early 2nd quarter, and we scored on a 30 yard pass from Madden Smith to Kinyon Burge,” Head Coach Cherry of Savanna said.

As the game was about to head to halftime, the lightning started and would not move out of the area. As a result, the game ended in a tie.

It is unknown if these teams will reschedule this match or just leave it in the tie column.

The Bulldogs will host Talihina next week on Week 4 of the high school football season.

Savanna vs. Canadian – Photo: Jill Ward

Wilburton Diggers – Bye Week – No Game

Though Wilburton enjoyed their bye week, they used this time wisely.

The Diggers feel prepared for their next game against the Panama Razorbacks, a highly anticipated district contest at home. The Diggers are excited and ready for the chance to prove themselves once again on the field of play.

This game will kickoff this week on Sept. 15 at 7 p.m. in Wilburton.

I am so excited to be covering SE Oklahoma, my home! If you have any information to share on your team or you would like to recommend specific school coverage in the Southeast Area, please email me at

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If you’re interested in reading more content about high school sports in Southeast Oklahoma, check out “In their own words” – What did these players think after Week 3 of play? – McAlester Area!

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