“We have a pretty bitter rivalry with these guys that most people overlook. But in our locker room, it’s pretty serious.”
Bishop Kelley and McAlester traded punts early in the second quarter, then the Buffs stopped the Comets on fourth down to take over at the McAlester 46. Three plays later, Caden Pratt connected with Cade Harkins on a short-yardage pass, then watched Harkins burst through the secondary and sprint his way to a 59-yard touchdown that made it 21-3 with 5:45 left in the second.
Caden also lofted a pass to Harkins towards the back of the end zone early in the fourth, with Harkins just keeping a foot inbounds to make it 38-3 Buffs. The two touchdown passes served as payback for Harkins, whom Caden threw to on the final play of last season’s home loss to Bishop Kelley.
“That’s just a regular screen,” Harkins said of his first touchdown. “We’ve been running that all year, and it’s a good play for us. It’s just all coming together and blocking as one unit.”
Despite playing in pain throughout the second half, Pratt scrambled his way to 7-yard touchdown run that made it 31-3 Buffs with 3:11 left in the third. He rushed for 101 yards and threw for 175, twice finding Mason Bumphus for 94 combined yards.
“We knew coming into this week that we had nothing to prove running the ball, so all week in practice, we worked on constantly throwing,” Caden Pratt said. “Throwing the fade, throwing the post, doing that kind of stuff and doing better in the phase that we were lacking in a little bit in with me at quarterback. I feel like practice really paid off, and it showed tonight.”
As McAlester’s focused offense consistently put up points, its defense prevented Bishop Kelley from achieving any consistency whatsoever. Of the Comets’ 14 offensive drives — included a one-play kneel that ended the first half — nine ended after four or fewer plays.