McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

Local Sports

October 8, 2013

Mason Bumphus stays focused

(Continued)

McALESTER —

Bumphus really started seeing playing time last year. His favorite memory came last year in Week 3, when the Buffs played at Claremore.

“It was late in the game, and it was like fourth-and-5, and Coach (Bryan) Pratt tells me to punt the ball,” Bumphus said. “Everybody on the punt team just says, ‘run it, we’ve got you.’ So I ran the ball, it ended up being like a 20-yard play, and we got to stay on the field.”

With his combination of receiving and punting skills, Bumphus helped the 2012 Buffs make the playoffs. Though Bumphus didn’t get too many passes in their first-round game against Collinsville, he caught seven for 92 yards and a touchdown in the quarter-finals against Deer Creek.

The 2012 Buffaloes didn’t pass very much, but the 2013 Buffaloes have added a solid passing game, of which Bumphus has become an integral part. Averaging 36.6 receiving yards per game, he’s caught at least one pass in each of the Buffs’ first five games, including a 60-yard touchdown reception in Week 3 against Claremore.

Bumphus credited his success to the accuracy of starting quarterback Dalton Wood.

“He’ll put it on me anywhere on the field,” Bumphus said of Wood. “I never have to worry about him trying to get me knocked out, because he always knows where I’m going.”

Despite his success this year, Bumphus acknowledged he’s dropped some passes that he should’ve caught. Those drops have tended to come early in the game, often on the first passing play in which he’s targeted, and usually Bumphus has been able to recover and catch everything else thrown his way.

“I just have to catch it now and make plays with it,” Bumphus said. “It’s just a lack of focus. I have to focus up, stop worrying so much about the things going on a round me and just focus on catching the ball.”

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