Claremore junior wide receiver/free safety Dustin Basks proved Friday night that he’s unstoppable.
Basks, who earned the NewsOn6 Player of the Week for his three TD performance in last week’s win over Coweta, tallied four TDs in Claremore’s 51-12 win over Grove.
Basks’ monster night included TD receptions of 62 and 25 yards, a 75-yard punt return for a TD and a 99-yard interception return for a TD.
The game plan, according to Claremore head coach Rob Gilbreath, was to win all three phases of the game — offense, defense and special teams.
“Our execution was great, we won the battle in the trenches and we created turnovers,” Gilbreath said.
Claremore jumped out to a 20-0 first quarter lead on Derrick Reliford’s 1-yard touchdown run, Basks’ 62-yard touchdown reception from Brinley Brown and Basks’ 75-yard punt return.
“We had a lot of confidence early on and I credit our defensive line for creating stops,” Basks said.
Grove managed to trim Claremore’s lead to 20-6 with 10:33 remaining in the second quarter on Cole Sharp’s 4-yard TD run.
From that point on, though, it was all Claremore.
Reliford, who had 20 carries for 143 yards, found the end zone for a 2-yard TD run and Jared Vincent booted the extra point to extend Claremore’s lead to 27-6.
The scoring drive was aided by Brown’s 15-yard pass to Basks that set Claremore up inside the Grove 10 yard line.
“Tonight, Brinley (Brown) showed a lot of poise in the pocket,” Gilbreath said. “He have to throw a lot of passes but he was effective and those three completions produced a pair of touchdowns.”
Brown completed 3-of-6 passes for 102 yards and a pair of touchdowns to Basks.
After Caleb Webster’s interception on the errant pass from Grove quarterback Jake Spychalski, Claremore’s ‘Dynamic Duo’ of Brown to Basks capitalized for a 25-yard TD.
Rolling to his right to avoid the pressure of Grove linebacker Ty Phillips, Brown tossed a 25-yard pass to Basks that sent Claremore into halftime with a 34-6 lead.
“Our offensive line really did a great job of controlling the line of scrimmage,” Gilbreath said.
Behind the blocking of John McQueen, Kelby Haulmark, Tyler Haysler, Dalton Flowers and Jacob Powers, Claremore’s running game was able to amass 330 total yards and three touchdowns.
Claremore junior fullback Bear Hope recorded his first TD of the season on a 7-yard run with 9:50 remaining in the third quarter that increased the Zebras lead to 41-6.
Shortly thereafter, Basks got in front of Grove’s Austin Cross at the Claremore 1 yard line for the interception that resulted in a 99-yard TD that put the Zebras ahead 48-6 with 5:31 left in the third quarter.
“Our defense set the tone tonight,” Gilbreath said. “Grove’s an explosive offense that can put a lot of points on the board. To hold them to 12 points and force two turnovers says a lot about the ‘heart’ of this unit.”
In the fourth quarter, Claremore’s Vincent booted a 25-yard field goal with 6:54 left to put the Zebras up 51-6.
Grove’s final touchdown — a 40-yard TD pass from Spychalski to Cross — came with 6:06 left in the game.
Basks’ night, though, was one to remember as he finished with three receptions for 102 yards and 2 TDs, two returns for 83 yards and a TD and one interception for 99 yards.
Note: Claremore (7-3) advances to the first round of the Class 5A playoffs and will face Shawnee (7-2) at 7:30 p.m. on Friday night in Shawnee.