Brunk Gray threw three touchdown passes and helped carry Pryor to a 31-14 win over Tahlequah Friday at Doc Wadley Stadium.
Pryor, who defeated Tahlequah for the first time in the last six meetings, scored 24 straight points, all on Gray TD passes, to build a 24-7 lead in the third quarter. The Tigers start District 5A-4 at 1-0 and improve to 3-1 overall.
Tahlequah fell to 2-2 overall and 0-1 in 5A-4 under head coach Brad Gilbert. The Tigers committed three turnovers, two of those after bad snaps to senior quarterback Tyler Joice.
"We had a lot of mistakes, but hats off to Pryor," Gilbert said. "They came in here and executed exactly what they wanted to do gameplan wise. They had a plan in place and they stuck with it, and it paid off for them. They just beat us."
Gray completed 9 of 14 passes for 204 yards, including an 88-yard touchdown pass to Bobby Belew at the 9:25 mark of the third quarter to give Pryor a 16-7 advantage. He later hooked up with Bret Elza on a 15-yard TD to extend the Tigers' lead to 24-7 with 6:19 remaining in the third. The scoring pass to Elza came after a Joice interception.
Tahlequah got to within 24-14 after a 65-yard scoring drive in less than two minutes. Joice capped the drive with a 26-yard touchdown pass to Cale Matlock with 35 seconds left in the third.
Tahlequah had a chance to get closer on its next offensive possession and drove to Pryor's 17-yard line, but a high snap to Joice resulted in a fumble with 8:25 left. Pryor took advantage and got a 53-yard touchdown run from running back Leo Lovins to nail the door shut. Lovins finished with a game-high 167 rushing yards on 24 carries.
Joice, who completed 16 of 31 passes for 178 yards, threw an 11-yard TD pass to Matlcok for the game's first points at the 7:13 mark of the second quarter.
Pryor responded with an 81-yard drive and took an 8-7 lead into halftime. Elza was on the receiving end of a 9-yard TD pass from Gray with 1:19 left in the second quarter.
Pryor finished with 419 total yards of offense. Belew had three receptions for 121 yards, and Elza had three catches for 33 yards with two scores.
Tahlequah, who will go on the road to face Tulsa Nathan Hale on Friday, Oct. 1, closed with 294 total yards of offense. Senior running back Malik McMurtrey had 92 rushing yards on 23 carries, Matlock finished with six catches for 75 yards, and Race Stopp had five catches for 61 yards.
"We've got a lot of improvement to do, and it starts with us as coaches, myself first and foremost," Gilbert said. "We've got to get these young men to eliminate the mistakes. We're just not good enough to overcome the mistakes that we've made."