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September 7, 2013

Wood leads Buffs past Pioneers

STILLWATER — McAlester quarterback Dalton Wood’s 2012 game against the Stillwater Pioneers lasted about six minutes and didn’t go particularly well.

Wood’s 2013 game lasted much longer and went much, much better.

Wood threw for five touchdowns and rushed for two more, powering the 5A Buffs to a 47-34 win against the Stillwater Pioneers, a 6A team, on Friday at Pioneer Stadium.

“We’ve been practicing all summer, so we were in rhythm,” Wood said. “Every now and then, they get tired, they aren’t going to be going hard, you’re going to overthrow them, underthrow them. Stuff happens, but more than likely, we’re going to receive the pass.”

Wood engineered a 10-play, 71-yard drive with the score tied 34-34 heading into the final seconds of the third quarter. Facing fourth-and-5 from the McAlester 46-yard line, Wood kept the drive alive by rushing 10 yards on a fake punt, then two runs of at least 10 yards by Jarome Smith pushed the Buffs to the Stillwater 7.

Wood then found Mason Bumphus in the end zone for a 7-yard touchdown pass that Bumphus bobbled but never dropped. The catch put the Buffs up 41-34 with 10:10 left in the game, and after the Buffs’ defense twice held off the Pioneers, Wood broke off a 64-yard quarterback counter for a touchdown and a 47-34 lead with 5:04 left.

“I read the (defensive) end on that,” Wood said of his long run. “He took the running back, so I kept it. That was the first time all night he took the running back instead of running at me.”

Needing two scores to tie, Stillwater moved the ball to the McAlester 38, but Cade Harkins intercepted a pass from Braxton Noble to end the threat. The Buffs rushed for three first downs before kneeling twice to end the game.

“Just the main thing was to stay over the top of No. 8 (Prather),” Harkins said of his pick. “He’s a really good player; he’s fast for them. I did it and just made a play on the ball.”

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