With a quiet, productive week in the McAlester Area, here’s my take on what these teams did during their bye week, as well as some other closely contested games.
McAlester Buffs – Bye Week
McAlester was off this week, but the players used this week as preparation and betterment for future games.
With a crushing loss to rival-Ada the week before, the Buffs used this week to get better in every aspect of the game. Senior quarterback Caden Lesnau felt the bye week was productive and gave the Buffs a better mindset going forward.
“We made some changes and practiced with a high intensity all week,” Lesnau said.
Senior offensive lineman Zac Rogers also gave his thoughts on the impact of the bye week for McAlester.
“This bye week has been nothing but hard work and getting better,” Rogers said. “Some things were moved around on the team and that got everyone fired up. We went back to the basics of football and we are ready to be a new team for district play.”
The McAlester Buffs will head to Memorial to face the Chargers this coming Friday on Week 4 of play.
Hartshorne Miners – Bye Week
After a close loss to Heavener in Week 2, the Miners used this bye week to figure out their game plan for the rest of the season. With upcoming battles against Savanna, Wewoka and the highly-anticipated game at Stroud, Hartshorne has got to be ready to face these teams head-on. I feel this team has the capability to do great things this season if they will only allow themselves to be successful.
The players feel they have prepared well during this rest week and it will help them through the rest of the season.
“We practiced harder than ever and really conditioned this week,” Senior quarterback and linebacker Jackson Moody said. “We started going over Stroud’s offense and started getting prepared for them.”
Senior running back and linebacker Kelby Thomason also weighed in on the productive bye week.
“I felt like we got better in every aspect, on both sides of the ball this week,” Thomason said. “We’ve been preparing for matchups down the road, and I’m excited to see what this team and the rest of my senior season has in store.”
Hartshorne seniors better not overlook the Savanna Bulldogs, who they will host in district play this Friday.
Savanna Bulldogs vs. Talihina Tigers
The Bulldogs hosted the Tigers on Week 3 of play. In an unprecedented big-win, Talihina defeated Savanna 66-20.
Before the game, I felt the two teams were evenly matched and that this would be a close game. I was surprisingly mistaken. The Talihina Tigers came out with a tenacious attitude; you could see the aggression they were playing with from the stands. Their rushing game was particularly strong, accumulating a total of 289 yards on the ground. The Tigers averaged an impressive 10.0 yards per carry, with their longest rush covering 29 yards.
In the pass game, the Tigers were equally impressive. They completed 17 out of 24 pass attempts, amassing a total of 264 passing yards.
They controlled the game handily throughout, and Savanna did not have a response to the Tigers on either side of the ball.
The Bulldogs will travel to Hartshorne for a district contest this coming Friday.
Wilburton Diggers vs. Panama Razorbacks
The Diggers hosted Panama for their homecoming game this past Friday. In a close-fought match, the Razorbacks emerged victorious, 14-6.
Though the Diggers did not win the game, I feel they made great strides against Panama. Panama had some great skill kids that Wilburton had trouble competing with, but the Diggers held their own and kept the game close.
“Our defense rose to the occasion and played their tails off,” Head Coach Troy Bullard said. “Floyd Clark, one of our free safeties and wide receivers, had an awesome game. He had a pick-six and a couple of huge receptions.”
Coach Bullard also spoke on costly mistakes that determined the outcome of the game. “We fumbled the ball three times at crucial parts of the game. This loss boiled down to mental mistakes.”
Wilburton has some excellent athletes in Troy Clark, Floyd Clark and their young quarterback, Braiden Grossnicklaus. I believe the Diggers, though they may struggle this season, will be a force to be reckoned with in a couple of years.
Wilburton will see the Antlers Bearcats come to town this Friday for a district matchup on Week 4.
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