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Coweta stuns McAlester, 49-0, in battle of unbeaten Class 5A teams

Tigers dominant in all phases and Coweta coach ends up getting a postgame haircut

By Ty Loftis 

COWETA - It’s not every day that as a coach, you get a free haircut when you get a victory.

That is exactly what happened on Thursday night when Coweta defeated McAlester in convincing fashion, 49-0, in a showdown between undefeated Class 5A squads.

Leading up to the much-anticipated matchup, Coweta coach Tim Harper made a bet with one of his players that if the Tigers defeated McAlester, he would get a mohawk haircut at midfield following the game. After the win, that’s exactly what happened.

“One of our boys said, 'If we beat McAlester, coach, you need to get a mohawk,'" Harper said. “I never dreamed it would be like that, but I’m super proud of these kids.”

Harper’s haircut was about the most exciting thing that happened all evening long, as Coweta dominated all night. 

On McAlester’s opening drive, the Buffaloes drove it to the Tiger 28, but turned the ball over on downs. That was the furthest they would advance the ball all night until the final drive of the game.

“We have given up 34 points through six games,” Harper said. “This defense is special, and they came out and proved it (Thursday).”

On offense, the Tigers scored early and often. Coweta only failed to find the end zone on two occasions.

Running back Mason Ford found the end zone on two separate occasions, and said he was proud of the way his team prepared for a good McAlester team.

“McAlester is a really good team and I bet we will see them again in the playoffs, but this win feels great,” Ford said. “We have had this game circled since they beat us last year. I think they are one of our biggest rivals.”

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After forcing McAlester to turn the ball over on downs, Coweta drove 72 yards for the first touchdown of the evening, which was capped off by a 7-yard touchdown pass from Na’kylan Starks to Ford.

Midway through the second quarter, Starks would find Carson Flanary for a 19-yard touchdown pass. On the next Coweta possession, Starks kept it for a quarterback keeper from 14 yards out, making it 21-0 at halftime.

Harper remarked afterward about how well Starks is playing.

“He is unreal,” Harper said. “It doesn’t matter where you line him up, he is going to be one of the best.”

Coming out of halftime, Coweta took the opening drive and scored on a 32-yard touchdown pass to Justis Grammar. After forcing a McAlester punt, Bartlesville transfer Noah Loyd caught a touchdown pass, making it 35-0 entering the final frame.

With McAlester nearing midfield on its next possession, Nate Long picked up a loose ball and ran it back for a touchdown, making it 42-0. The final touchdown came from Ford with just under three minutes left.

On McAlester’s final drive, the Buffaloes got inside the red zone for the first time all night, but it was the defense who was there to preserve the shutout in the final seconds.

“We wanted that shutout,” Ford said. “Our goal is to play a full 48 minutes and we did that (Thursday).”

Coweta (6-0, 3-0 District 5A-3) now heads into next week's game against Durant. Harper says it is important to take the time to enjoy this win, but also treat it like any other win.

“We need to go back in that locker room and come back to Earth,” Harper said. “We are going to have a good time at school, practice on Friday and start getting ready for Durant.”

McAlester, who now sits at 5-1 overall and 2-1 in district play, hosts Tulsa East Central next week.