McALESTER — The McAlester Buffaloes lost a huge offensive weapon when Buffs starting quarterback Dalton Wood left three plays into Friday’s game.
Replacement quarterback Caden Pratt, running back Jarome Smith and the Buffs’ defense rallied together to still give the Buffs a big district win.
Pratt threw for two touchdowns, Smith rushed for two more and the Buffaloes' defense forced five turnovers — including one on downs — to beat the Shawnee Wolves, 28-14, on Friday at Hook Eales Stadium in McAlester.
Of the Buffs' five turnovers, three came via an interception. Mason Bumphus picked off Shawnee quarterback John Jacobs twice in McAlester's end zone in the fourth quarter, killing back-to-back Wolves drives of at least nine plays.
Bumphus' first pick came on an attempted 8-yard pass to Don Murphy in the end zone, with Bumphus ripping the ball away from Murphy at the last minute. The second game on an attempted 28-yard pass, with Bumphus getting position on his receiver and leaping into the air to haul it in.
“The first one, I just let him go inside of me because I wanted (Jacobs) to throw it,” Bumphus. “I saw him rear back, so I just drove at it. He caught it, and I just took it out of his hands.
“The second one, I just covered him. I had him covered perfectly, and he just decided to test me.”
Following Bumphus’ second pick, Pratt and Smith combined for 53 rushing yards following the second interception to eat up most of the final minutes of the fourth, twice getting solid blocking from Blakely Williams on the far sideline to turn busted plays into positive yardage. And though
Pratt fumbled the ball away with 35 seconds left in the game, freshman lineman Graham Eaton sandwiched two sacks around a pass interference penalty to end the game.