McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

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November 22, 2013

Buffs take down Titans, reach Semis



“The short-yardage (throws), you have to rush, and you can’t get a good grip,” Wood said. “The longer yards, you can get a better grip, find the laces and get set better.”

Wood added, “This is the biggest game I’ve played in my life, and I’ve been playing since I was 6.”

After the Buffs stopped Titans quarterback Stevie Thompson inches short on fourth-and-2, McAlester took over at midfield. Though the Buffs ended up punting that drive, Bumphus' punt pinned the Titans at the 16, the defense forced a three-and-out and the offense took over at the Carl Albert 45.

A false start cost the Buffs 5 yards, but Wood broke off a 50-yard touchdown run. After another fourth-down stand by the Buffs, Smith rushed 45 yards to the Carl Albert 9, then Wood barreled his way into the end zone to make it 35-6 Buffs with 4:32 left in the half.

Yet another fourth-down stand, this time 2 yards from McAlester’s end zone in the final minute of the second quarter, maintained that score through halftime, then the Titans lost Thompson to an ankle injury on the first play of the third quarter. Though Thompson, who scored the Titans' only touchdown against the Buffs' varsity, eventually returned in the fourth, a scoreless third quarter left the Titans too little time to mount a comeback.

“He’s our offense,” Carl Albert coach Gary Rose said of Thompson. “We have to have an offensive line and receivers and backs, but he makes that whole thing go.”

Allen Woodmore also intercepted Thompson's second pass after returning to the field, and one play later Rhyln Stephens rushed 41 yards up the middle for a touchdown that made it 49-6 Buffs.

Smith rushed for McAlester's first two touchdowns. A 42-yard pass to Bumphus set up Smith's 16-yard run, then Carl Albert fumbled the ensuing kickoff and gave McAlester the ball at the Carl Albert 39.

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