Claremore Daily Progress

High School Sports

September 20, 2013

5A Showdown: No. 7 Claremore faces tough road test at No. 3 McAlester

CLAREMORE — A year ago, Claremore’s 21-20 overtime win over McAlester proved to be the stepping stone toward the Zebras’ Class 5A playoff run.

Head coach Rob Gilbreath called that victory a big ‘momentum’ builder going into District 5A-4 play, where Claremore finished 6-1 overall.

Going into tonight’s showdown — the first road game of the season — Gilbreath reiterated to his team that No. 3 McAlester is ‘really good’ and can ‘light up’ the scoreboard.

“McAlester has a high-scoring offense with lots of weapons,” Gilbreath said. “Their quarterback (Wood) is a big, physical guy that throws and runs well. This will be the first time we have seen him, since he missed all of last year because of a heart condition.”

Claremore’s secondary — led by junior cornerback Dustin Basks and senior free safety Hunter Garroutte — must keep McAlester senior receiver Caden Pratt from making the big play in the passing game.

“The Pratt kid is their biggest and best threat,” Gilbreath said. “He is very athletic and his feet never stop moving. We’ve got to be able to tackle him.”

In last Friday’s 47-45 loss to Booker T. Washington, McAlester quarterback Dalton Wood completed 13-of-16 passes for 262 yards and three touchdowns with one interception.

McAlester got off to an explosive start with a 38-10 halftime lead over Booker T. Washington. The second half, though, painted a different picture as McAlester’s offense was held to seven points.

“I anticipate this being a great matchup. We are both good. The team that makes the fewest mistakes will win this one,” Gilbreath said. “I’m excited to see how good we are. This game will be a great tool to see how we going to matchup against one of the best teams in the state.”

Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. at Buffalo Stadium in McAlester.

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