The Buffs punted away their first possession of the fourth, but their defense then turned back the Hornets, a 49-yard field goal attempt from Beasley falling well short of the goalposts. But the Buffs’ second-half offensive struggles continued, and they turned it over when Wood couldn’t pick up 2 yards on a fourth-down fake punt.
Taking over at the McAlester 29, Booker T. advanced the ball to the 12, then Beasley connected from 25 yards out to put the Hornets up 47-45 with 3:43 left in the game.
The Buffs had one drive left to re-take the lead, and Wood connected with Mason Bumphus and Blakely Williams to pick up two first downs and move the Buffs to the Booker T. 34. Wood floated one over the top to Jarome Smith on first-and-10 from the 34, but Smith dropped it, and the Buffs moved no closer on second or third down.
Facing fourth-and-10, Cade Harkins escaped his coverage and got open in the end zone. Wood tried for the touchdown pass, but the pass sailed over Harkins’ head and out the back of the end zone.
“I can’t really read when I’m moving in the pocket,” Wood said. “I had to move from those guys, I was running when I threw it, and just too much power.”
McAlester dominated Booker T. in the first half, scoring five touchdowns in the second quarter. Caden Pratt started with a 20-yard pass four seconds into the second, then Harkins beat his man deep for a 24-yard score that made it 17-3 Buffs with 9:24 until halftime.
Deonta Owens’ 21-yard run pulled the Hornets within 7 — the play coming after Mason Bumphus intercepted a pass but receiver Arlando Johnson stripped him to keep possession and pick up 43 yards — but Smith scored back-to-back rushing touchdowns to push the lead back to 31-10. Wood then connected with Harkins again, who spun out of a tackle and took it 40 yards for the touchdown with 2:14 left.