The Pittsburg-Coffeyville game had been eagerly anticipated for months. The two most athletic, physically-gifted football teams in Southeast Kansas with stars like James Newton of Coffeyville and Alex Barnes of Pittsburg. The cameras of Kansas 22 providing a statewide broadcast. Hutchinson Field. Pittsburg Homecoming. The 1988 Class 5A state championship winner honored at halftime. The Southeast Kansas League title on the line with the best offenses and the best defenses facing one another. Coffeyville last defeated Pittsburg in 1993, coincidentally the last time the Golden Tornado won the SEK title. All the anticipation . . . all the hype . . . and Pittsburg lived up to its end of the bargain with a dominating 42-14 win Friday night over Coffeyville. The win came in trademark Pittsburg fashion: smash-mouth running football and hard-hitting defense. “Phenomenal,” Pittsburg head coach Tom Nickelson said of the defense. “The defensive staff had a great gameplan put together and the kids executed it to a T. They played with a lot of heart, a lot of emotion all game long. That was the first four-quarter game we've played all year and I couldn't be more proud of the effort they showed. “It was not pretty but that was the gameplan. We needed long, sustained drives and our offensive line showed up in a big, big way and our running backs showed up in a big, big way, particularly No. 34.” Ah, yes, No. 34, junior running back Alex Barnes. Barnes ran for over 300 yards — the Morning Sun math department calculated Barnes at 312 — and five TDs on 35 carries, proving to be the difference maker in the contest. Barnes' four unanswered TDs took Pittsburg from a 7-6 advantage to 35-6 with 4 minutes, 51 seconds left in the third on his back-breaking 47-yard run. “He doesn't get real tired,” Nickelson said of Barnes. “He just keeps plugging. Offensive line kept getting off the ball for him. That was special tonight. It was special tonight. That was a big game, it was a great week of practice and I couldn't be more proud of the team.” The Dragon attack mixed in seniors Riley Cunningham, K.J. Shaw and Ethan Paul-Davis, as well as fullbacks Dante Menghini and Ryan McNeely. Coffeyville was thwarted offensively nearly all game, aside from a late first-quarter 55-yard touchdown strike from Nathan Finley to Destin Downing and a late drive in the third quarter resulting in a LaDarrius Johnson 5-yard TD run. Pittsburg ran the table for its first SEK League title since 2011 and heads into district play 6-0 on the season. “Not many people were predicting 6-0, SEK champs,” Nickelson said. “This team just goes to work every single day, tries to get better. They know what they need to improve on and they try to get better at it. It's just been a work-in-progress all year long. We're going to go out and enjoy this but we go back to work Sunday to get ready for a tough district. We know what's waiting for us. It's a juggernaut but these boys just go to work every day. They'll give themselves a chance.” Coffeyville dropped to 5-1 on the season.