GAMEDAY: McAlester dismantles Scotlandville at Battle on the Border

·3 min read

Sep. 3—SHREVEPORT, La. — A record-breaking performance and physical play led McAlester to a win in the Bayou.

Senior running back Erik McCarty broke the program record for career rushing touchdowns as McAlester pulled away in the second half for a 35-20 win Saturday against Scotlandville, La. in the 2022 Battle of the Border High School Football Showcase at Independence Stadium in Shreveport, La.

Coach Forrest Mazey said he and the team were worn out and drenched in sweat, but he was happy with the way the Buffs fought through the adverse conditions against a quality opponent.

"I'm super proud of the kids," he said. "They gutted out of a very tough situation with the heat and humidity...I'm just super proud of them."

McCarty finished with 21 carries for 118 yards and two touchdowns to help McAlester (2-0) remain undefeated in a season after finishing as the Oklahoma 5A state runner-up.

Mazey said earning the Saturday win against Scotlandville, La. (0-1) — ranked eighth in the Louisiana Sports Writers Association's Class 5A preseason rankings — helped prove McAlester's potential to be one of the state's best teams, but he wants to keep momentum.

"Instead of being pretenders, we've got to be defenders and do things other people aren't willing to do," he said.

Scotlandville struck first with a fumble recovery on McAlester's opening drive for a 36-yard scoop-and-score and a 7-0 advantage.

But the Buffs quickly marched into enemy territory on the next possession before Caden Lesnau connected with Chaz Bradley on a 30-yard touchdown toss to tie it up midway through the first quarter.

Lesnau finished 10-of-19 passing for 144 yards and three touchdowns, while Bradley and Lance combined in the receiving game for 91 yards and three scores.

McAlester's Black Death Defense forced Scotlandville to punt — which McCarty flew across the field for a diving block, to set up the Buffs offense at the Hornet 20.

Lesnau let another pass fly over the middle to Carter Lance who was wide open in the end zone for a 17-yard score. McCarty converted a two-yard run on the two-point try to take a 15-7 lead with 4:16 left in the opening period.

Scotlandville answered on the following possession with Division I prospect quarterback Zae Teasett finding John Hubbard for a 65-yard score to make it 15-14 through the first quarter.

Teasett finished 20-of-36 passing for 286 yards and two scores, which Mazey said gave McAlester a look ahead for the caliber of athletes the defense could face in district play and the postseason.

"This quarterback's a stud and we did some good things against him," Mazey said. "I'm going to tell you, they had probably Del City-type athletes, and I think we played well at times. Really, the thing I wanted to see was toughness, and we gutted some stuff out. I'm super proud of them."

McAlester kept its offensive rhythm in the second quarter with a rumbling drive capped off by Lesnau finding Lance on an island for a five-yard touchdown and a 22-14 lead.

Teasett again answered for Scotlandville with a 25-yard touchdown toss, but the extra-point attempt failed as McAlester held onto a 22-20 lead heading into halftime.

The Buffs turned up the dial on both sides of the ball coming out of the break. McAlester pinned Scotlandville to their own goal line and forced a punt to get excellent field position.

Then McCarty capped off a long drive with a seven-yard touchdown rumble for a 28-20 McAlester lead through three quarters.

Another lengthy McAlester drive ended with McCarty taking a snap in the wildcat formation in for a three-yard score that gave him the school record in what became the final score of the game.

Contact Derek Hatridge at dhatridge@mcalesternews.com.