DURANT - Durant Lions defense kept the game in reach, trailing 13-0 at half time to it’s district foe the McAlester Buffaloes. However, the Buffs offense came alive and stampeded to a 41-14 win under the Friday night lights.
The Lions fall to 1-6 overall and 1-3 in district and McAlester is now 4-3 overall and 4-0 in district.
The Buffs rolled up 453 offensive yards, 331 rushing yards and 122 passing yards. Durant had 222 offensive yards, 118 rushing yards and 104 passing yards.
“McAlester has a good club. They beat us up front on the offensive line and defensive line. If you the lose the game up front, you’ll lose the football game.” said Lions head coach Byron Cordell.
The biggest problem for the Lions was tackling.
“Our tackling was atrocious. That was the worst tackling game I’ve ever seen. The deal is we are better than that and we know we are.” said Cordell.
A noticeable bright spot from the game was Durant Lion Will Engle.
Engle is back full time after an early season injury and made his defensive presence known. Engle disrupted plays in the back field, led the team with 7 tackles, grabbed 1 interception and broke up a pass.
“Will played really hard, he did some great things tonight. If he did make a mistake, he was going 110 mph.” said Lions head coach Byron Cordell, “I’m very proud of him. He missed a couple games due to injury early in the year. He has come back in the last two weeks and has really been our team leader on defense.”
On offense, Dakota Diessner rushed for 83 yards, 2 TD’s and led the team with 149 all-purpose yards. Kooper Cavender was a nice change of pace at running back. Cavender rushed for 31 yards on 4 carries and averaged 7.8 yards a carry. Diessner averaged 7.5 yards a carry.
The Lions trailed 13-0 at the half and the Buffs scored in its opening possession in the third quarter. It took three plays and one minute for the Buffs to extend its lead to 19-0.
The Lions would answer back with an 8 play 65 yard drive that absorbed 4 minutes and ended with Diessner pounding the ball into the endzone for a 4 yard TD. The Lions trailed 19-6.
The hopes of a Lion rally was denied after the Buffs put up three more touchdowns and led 41-6 midway through the fourth quarter.
However, the Lions fought to the end and scored when Diessner busted open a 74 yard rushing TD to finish all scoring on the night.
The Lions will play their last home game next Thursday Oct. 18 on Senior Night against Shawnee at 7:30 p.m.
Durant Stats: On offense, QB Zac Cater finished the night 15-of-20, 1 INT, 104 passing yards. WR Brandon Maynard had 4 catches for 40 yards, Hunter Stephens had 4 catches for 20 yards and Blake Wilson had 3 catches for 31 yards.
On defense, Kolton Blakely had 5 tackles and Gabe Lewis, Diessner, Wilson and Blaise Gorges all had 4 tackles.