Claremore Daily Progress

Sports

September 20, 2012

‘Battle of Unbeatens’

Claremore, Collinsville clash in 5A-4 District Showdown

CLAREMORE — The ‘biggest game’ of the District 5A-4 season opener kicks off Friday night with a “Battle of Unbeatens” in the Claremore Zebras and Collinsville Cardinals.

At 7:30 p.m. in Collinsville, the Zebras and Cardinals will tangle for early district bragging rights and the possibility of picking up their fourth consecutive win in the 2012 season.

According to Claremore head football coach Rob Gilbreath on Friday’s district opener, “I look for it to be another great game with a few plays and turnovers making the difference.”

Claremore brings a lot of intensity and momentum into this game, especially after persevering with a 21-20 overtime win over the McAlester Buffs last Friday night at Lantow Field.

The Zebras, according to Gilbreath, haven’t been 3-0 since the 1995 season.

“It’s a great feeling,” Gilbreath added on the 3-0 record. “Now, we have to stay hungry, keep that determination and open district play like we ended non-district.”

Claremore (3-0) enters its match-up with Collinsville (3-0) a little hampered by injuries.

On Monday, three starters — Jordan Cunningham, Baron Hope, and Caleb Webster — did not practice due to injuries sustained in the McAlester game.

Though Gilbreath didn’t reveal the severity of those injuries, he did say that two of the three will play and is unsure on the third.

Offensively, Cunningham has been Claremore’s go-to guy in the running game, carrying 57 times for 285 yards and three touchdowns.

Webster, meanwhile, leads Claremore’s passing game with 15 receptions for 205 yards and two touchdowns.

On defense, though, Cunningham and Hope anchor Claremore’s linebacking unit with 87 combined tackles.

* Claremore junior quarterback Matt Whatley, in three games, has completed 19-of-32 passes for 333 yards and three touchdowns.

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