Harkins started his senior football season on a high note, leading the Buffs with six catches for 82 yards. One of his receptions came after running a perfect post route away from a Stillwater safety, and Wood floated the ball easily into Harkins’ hands for a 36-yard touchdown and a 34-20 lead with 9:21 left in the third.
“He’s done a really good job of trying to get himself prepared for the season, and that’s good for us,” Buffs coach Bryan Pratt said of Wood. “We know he has all the tools and the skills.
“I think we had 31 first downs, which is outrageous.”
The Pioneers overcame a two-score deficit in the third quarter, with Braxton Noble floating one 20 yards to Brandon Prather in the end zone with 6:54 left, then hitting Spencer Parsons between two Buffs defenders just outside of the end zone. Neither Buff could bring Parsons down, leading to a touchdown that made it 34-34 with 36.1 seconds left.
Noble threw for 231 yards and four touchdowns, but he also threw three interceptions.
“We didn’t play with a whole lot of emotion in the first half,” Stillwater coach Tucker Barnard said. “I think we have leadership issues that we need to figure out.”
Heat-induced cramping became an issue for both teams starting in the second half, but the first half featured seven touchdowns between the two squads. Prather began the game with a 90-yard kickoff-return touchdown, but the Buffs responded with a 14-play drive that chewed up nearly half the first quarter.
Showing a good mix of passing and running and twice drawing the Pioneers offsides for first downs, Wood brought the Buffs to the Stillwater 19, then hit Smith on a crossing pattern for a 19-yard touchdown and a 7-6 lead. With his team down 20-14 with 8:30 until halftime, Wood hit Smith on a similar-looking route for a 30-yard score and a 21-20 lead.