Class 5A Semifinals: No. 1 East Central (8-4) vs. No. 7 McAlester (8-4)
BY MIKE BROWN World Sports Writer
Friday, November 23, 2012
11/23/12 at 3:10 AM
When: 7:30 p.m. Friday
Where: Indian Bowl, 402 North `S' Street, Muskogee
Tickets: $7 for adults, $5 for students
Radio: KNED am1150 (McAlester)
The matchup: Unoffically, the Cards are 12-0 while averaging 34.1 points per game, but they forfeited four games for using an ineligible player.
On the field, they're almost unstoppable. Sophomore quarterback Tre'von Cherry has thrown for 1,893 yards and 23 TDs, William Goree has rushed for 17 scores and OU commit Stanvon Taylor has 13 receiving TDs. Deontre Youngblood has another eight receiving TDs, along with three punt returns for scores.
McAlester does its best work on the ground, averaging nearly 300 rushing yards per game. That likely means a busy night for Cards linebackers Kimmie Carson, a University of New Mexico commit, and Josh Herman. They have 114 and 96 tackles, respectively.
Operating behind a veteran line, McAlester junior quarterback Caden Pratt has rushed for 1,436 yards and 15 TDs. The Buffs rarely throw unless it's to burn opponents crowding the line of scrimmage, and then they do it well. Cade Harkins averages over 22 yards per catch.
Pratt also is dangerous running from punt formation on fourth down. He converted four times in a furiously contested regular-season loss to Bishop Kelley.
McAlester's defensive leader is TU linebacker commit Devin Rolan with 103 tackles.
Notable: Cherry threw for 300 yards in last Friday's quarterfinal win over Guthrie, reaching that mark for the third time in his rookie season. ... East Central, which won a state title in 2005, is 2-4 in semifinal games, all since 2003. McAlester, which won state titles in 1968 and 1988, is 3-11 in semifinal games.