Greg Werner knows the feeling of walking both the home and visitor sidelines at Poteau's Costner Stadium.

Now, the man that replaced Werner as the Pirates' coach will have a similar experience on Friday.

Werner makes his home debut in his second stint at Poteau taking on the coach he replaced, and the same coach who replaced Werner when he left the Pirates following the 2014 season. Forrest Mazey, the Pirates' coach from 2015-18, will bring his new team, the McAlester Buffaloes, to Costner Stadium.

"It's funny how life works, isn't it?" Werner said. "It's kind of a strange situation, but it's like I tell people all the time, that line (about teams facing former coaches) gets overused.

"It's a football game, and once that ball's kicked off, it's just football. Sure, there's a lot of emotion involved for him just because he was here for four years and was very successful, so that's going to be tough, but once the ball's kicked off, he'll just want to win a game and that's what it's about."

Werner had returned twice to Poteau since leaving as the Pirates' coach. In 2015, he brought Van Buren into Poteau, and then returned there last season as Hilldale's coach.

On both occasions, Mazey's Pirates prevailed en route to recording perfect regular seasons and a pair of trips to the 4A semifinals.

But Werner is just as glad to be back on the home sideline for another reason as Poteau finally plays a home game after starting the season with two long trips, going to El Reno and Durant, splitting those games.

"We just let one get away from us in El Reno, and they're a great football team but we let one get away," Werner said. "Hopefully, we learned a little bit and maybe got better in the process. ... We feel good with where we're at and we're in a good spot and our main goal is to be ready Week 4 (the District 4A-4 opener); we just want to be at our best for Week 4."

In Mazey's debut as McAlester's coach last week, the Buffaloes were defeated by Muskogee.

"I think they're solid and I just think they're a good football team and they've continued to get better from the first time I saw them and they played a really good Muskogee team last week," Werner said. "They just turned it over too much; they never gave themselves a chance because of turnovers, but I definitely think they're a good football team and it's going to be an enormous test for us."

Last week, prior to Poteau's game at Durant, Werner shifted senior Easton Francis from tailback to quarterback and moved fellow senior Kagan Stockton to running back. Francis accounted for more than 210 yards of total offense while passing for two touchdowns and running for another TD as the Pirates built a 33-0 lead by halftime.

"It was good for us, and Kagan Stockton's such a great kid and the leader of our defense and he took it as a winner does," Werner said. "But Easton's a little bit more of a throwing threat and that's kind of what we needed and he sure showed it last week against Durant. ... Our defense also played well, but it was a good win for us because a lot of kids got to play."

Poteau will be off next week before starting 4A-4 play on Sept. 27 with a game at Sallisaw.

Friday's Other Games

Muldrow (1-0) at Roland (0-1): The two longtime arch-rivals square off once again on Friday, with the Bulldogs seeking their fourth straight win in the series. Muldrow is coming off a late come-from-behind win at Sequoyah-Tahlequah, while the Rangers were defeated at home by Spiro.

Sallisaw (1-0) at Stigler (1-0): Both the Black Diamonds and Panthers won their season openers last week. Sallisaw needed overtime to get past Catoosa, while Stigler had little trouble against Hartshorne.

Spiro (1-0) at Hartshorne: Bulldog senior tailback Malik Roberson rushed for 203 yards and had two TDs in last week's season-opening win at Roland.

Vian (1-0) at Lincoln Christian: An early-season showdown between two top five ranked squads. The Wolverines are ranked No. 4 in 2A, while Lincoln Christian comes in ranked No. 2 in 3A.

Pocola (0-1) at Central (0-1): Both the Indians and Tigers are seeking to bounce back after each dropped their respective season openers last week.

Panama (1-0) at Heavener (0-1): Renewal of a rivalry between two LeFlore County teams. The Razorbacks defeated Central last week, while the Wolves are coming off a season-opening road loss to Gore.

Webbers Falls at Arkoma (1-0): Mustangs held off Oaks to win their season opener last week.

Gans (0-1) at Weleetka: The Grizzlies were defeated by Midway in their 2019 opener.

Keota (1-0) at Oaks: Keota was off last week, as the Lions were still savoring their season-opening win two weeks ago against Weleetka.