TULSA — Welcome back, Dalton Wood.
McAlester’s starting quarterback returned after a four-game absence, throwing four touchdown passes and rushing for three more to lead the Buffaloes to a 70-39 win against the Memorial Chargers on Friday at LaFortune Stadium in Tulsa.
McAlester outscored Memorial 28-0 through the first two plays of the second quarter, quickly putting the Chargers so far behind they had to go with a high-speed, high-risk offense that failed to move the ball at least as often as it led to positive yardage. The Chargers ran 103 total plays, 33 more than McAlester and by far the most of any Buffs opponent this season, but they averaged 2.1 fewer yards per play than the Buffs and put up just 36 more total yards despite so many more plays.
“I don’t think it worked,” Chargers coach Ryan Reed said of his team’s strategy.
After the Buffs’ defense forced a three-and-out on the Chargers’ first drive, Wood led the Buffs 50 yards on five plays. A screen pass to Blakely Williams from the Memorial 23-yard line turned into a touchdown and a 7-0 Buffs lead with 9:26 left in the first.
On the Chargers’ second drive, the Buffs again forced a three-and-out. Three plays into the third, Chargers quarterback Trevor Boone and running back Kejuante Austin collided in the backfield.
Jarome Smith rushed in to jar the ball loose, Cade Harkins scooped it up and returned it 32 yards for a touchdown that made it 14-0 Buffs.
Touchdown runs by Smith and Wood pushed the Buffs’ lead to 28-0 early in the second.
“We played really well in the first quarter, and then turned around, gave up 27 (points) in the second,” Buffs coach Bryan Pratt said.
“It’s one of those things were you don’t know when to pull off, when to get your guys out. You’re worried about getting somebody hurt. I’m glad it’s over.”