McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

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November 1, 2013

Buffs beat Bulldogs, win district

(Continued)

McALESTER —

Mason Bumphus ended Skiatook’s next drive with an interception he returned to the Skiatook 28-yard line. Giving the Buffs a strong defensive performance, Bumphus also knocked away several Skiatook passes downfield, made at least one tackle behind the line of scrimmage and stripped Skiatook receiver Gavin Pilgrim after a 1-yard catch, returning the fumble 42 yards for a third-quarter touchdown that made it 42-7 Buffs.

“I just saw he had the ball hanging out from him, so I just grabbed it and slipped right out,” Bumphus said of the strip.

“The defense stepped up a lot tonight. I thought the defense played well as a team (even though) we had a couple penalties.”

Following Bumphus’ interception in the first, Caden Pratt found Harkins on a short-yardage pass on second-and-18 from the Skiatook 36. In a play quite similar to one run last week against Bishop Kelley, Harkins exploded into the secondary following the catch and took it to the end zone to make it 14-7 Buffs.

“Our line, they do a really good job of getting out there and blocking those skill-guys for the other team, and I just follow behind them,” Harkins said. “They do all the work.”

Second-and-long situations didn’t seem to bother the Buffs on Friday. Facing second-and-goal from the Skiatook 11, Caden Pratt floated one to Bumphus in the end zone to make it 49-7 Buffs in the third.

Caden Pratt also rushed for three touchdowns in the second quarter. All three scores came on quarterback counter plays, the first of which coming five plays after a 25-yard run by Smith on second-and-25 at the Skiatook 43.

“It’s supposed to hit in ‘A gap,’ but you can never really tell in a game whenever it’s time to go,” Caden Pratt said of the counter. “You just have to keep your eyes open, and there’ll be something there. There’ll be a gap popping open.”

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