By Jared A’Latorre, Sports Editor
The Bison came up with their second straight victory over Northwestern Oklahoma State in their homecoming game.
The Bison changed up their running game with the workload being dominated by sophomore Rueben Thompson.
Thompson ran the ball for a 17-yard pickup on the second drive of the OBU possession.
The drive was ended by a 17-yard throw from redshirt sophomore Preston Haire to junior Noah McGraw for a touchdown.
The Bison went up 7-0.
The Rangers were able to drive down the field on their next possession but were stopped short by the Bison defense.
They settled for a short field goal to get on the scoreboard.
The Bison once again looked to Thompson for another great pickup on the ground.
The drive ended off a 2-yard touchdown pass from Haire to redshirt senior Josh Pettijohn.
The next possession led to potential shades of nightmares with the Rangers scoring on just two plays.
They finished off their drive on a 77-yard touchdown pass.
In the second quarter, OBU got help from two pass interference penalties on their next possession.
Redshirt freshman Abel Wills was able to get in action on the drive with a 13-yard completion.
The Bison continued to depend on Thompson on the ground and they finished off the drive with a one-yard touchdown pass to redshirt freshman Joshua Cornell.
The Rangers capped off a long 14-play drive with a 10-yard touchdown run to keep themselves in the game.
The two teams went back and forth and capped off another successful drive with a 21-yard pass from Haire to redshirt junior Jacques Henderson.
The score was 28-17 with the Bison on top. To earn points at the end of the half, the Bison started out near midfield with just over 90 seconds to go.
They set up their kicker, redshirt freshman Connor Watts for a field goal.
His kick was good, giving the Bison a 31-17 lead going into halftime.
In the second half, the Rangers received the second half kickoff.
During the drive, one of their players was ejected for an unsportsmanlike penalty, giving the Bison greater momentum in the half.
On the first possession for OBU in the half, senior Cagney Roberson was a highlight in the drive with a 10-yard completion.
The drive ended with a one-yard touchdown run from Thompson. Thompson seemed eager to get his chance to shine on the field.
“I was excited I got my chance to show what I could bring to the table and also I felt like we could get a lot accomplished overall,” Thompson said. “From being able to run the ball and pass how we did had their defense not knowing what was going to hit them.”
This gave the Bison a 21-point lead in the third quarter.
The quarter involved defensive efforts from both sides.
During the quarter, redshirt sophomore Landon Rowlett intercepted a pass giving the Bison a greater chance to win.
In the fourth quarter, the Rangers showed some life with a 6-yard pass completion, giving them some life with the Bison still up by 14 points.
After a forced three-and-out from the Ranger defense, the Rangers capitalized on a score.
They drove down the field and scored on a 12-yard completion.
The lead was down to seven with the Bison still winning.
Another great defensive effort from the Rangers was enough to earn the ball on offense again.
The Rangers were stopped on three downs and then on a fourth down conversion, they failed as they fell just short of the first down marker.
The Bison took over and were able to get close to the first-down line.
They drew the defense offside on fourth down and one and essentially put the game to rest with a 38-31 victory.
Thompson believed that his players remained in the game all through-out.
“I love how our team stayed focused and had energy all four quarters,” Thompson said.“Even if something didn’t go our way, we knew the goal we were headed for and didn’t let anything stop us from reaching it.”
With the Bison headed into the season finale, they have a shot to beat every single opponent in the state. They want to come out of next week’s game with the same outcome.
“We’re going to prepare like never before and have the practice,” Thompson said. “This is our chance to do something that hasn’t been done for this program since we joined [Division II] which is take state being 5-0 against Oklahoma teams and we will not miss this opportunity.”
Haire threw for four touchdowns and no interceptions.
Thompson ran for 98 yards and a touchdown. Pettijohn, Henderson, McGraw and Cornell all completed passes for touchdowns.
The Bison will play Southern Nazarene at Crain Family Stadium in their final regular season game next Saturday, Nov. 10.