The Sapulpa Chieftains fell 48-14 to the McAlester Buffaloes in the first game of postseason football, effectively ending the 2021 football season for the Chieftains.
The undefeated Buffaloes are the number one team in the district, and Sapulpa’s finishing record of 6-5 after last week’s win against the Glenpool Chargers proved to be enough of a rallying cry to get into the playoffs, but that was about it.
Sapulpa started out of the gate with a few tricks up its sleeve, kicking an onside to recover and give itself the ball. Unfortunately, that great stroke of luck came to an abrupt end in the next play as the ball was intercepted, giving the Buffs the ball back, and a morale boost, to boot.
The Buffs made good use of the opportunity, scoring their first TD just a few plays later, and starting the lead that would last the rest of the game.
Meanwhile, a Chieftain offense struggled to make headway against a strong McAlester defense, ending the first quarter 19-0, McAlester.
The Chieftain’s defense also had a tough go of it at first and was well into the second quarter before it was able to make its first stop of the Buffalo rampage. After a partially-blocked punt (by McAlester’s McCarty—and just one of several he made that night), the offense finally put together a solid drive and was able to move the chains for the first time on its own. The only other time it got a first down was because of a facemask penalty against the Buffaloes.
McAlester continued to chop into the Sapulpa defense with full TDs and a field goal, bringing their score to 29 points before Sapulpa got the ball back near the end of the first half.
After getting the ball across the 50 for only the second time in the game, a long pass caught by Justin Squire in the red zone gave the Chieftains the momentum they needed, followed by a 22-yard touchdown to Tyreese Jones, finally breaking into the positive with 7 points to McAlester’s 29.
Sapulpa started the second half with the ball, but not long into the third quarter, they were forced to punt and McAlester answered with a 38-yard rushing score.
Trying something new, Sapulpa attempted a fourth-down conversion but failed, while McAlester tried one and succeeded, just a few plays later. McAlester’s quarterback Boatright connected again, stretching the Buffs lead to 48-7 going into the fourth quarter.
Sapulpa rallied and had several good plays in the final twelve minutes of the game as they marched downfield and scored once more, bringing the final tally to 48-14. Unfortunately, it was too little, too late against a hot combination of strong passes, strong defense, and blocked punts, as the Buffaloes ended the game the winner, and will be advancing into the second round of the playoffs.
Sapulpa wasn’t without its bragging rights, though: They were one of only two teams to score against McAlester by the second quarter the whole year. They also scored better than at least six of McAlester’s other opponents this year, showing just how formidable the Buffalo defense has become.
Featured image courtesy of Sapulpa Public Schools Facebook Page.