ROGERS, Ark. — The Claremore Zebras scored 22 unanswered fourth quarter points but fell short, losing 28-25 to the Rogers Mountaineers Friday night.
Claremore quarterback Noah Grimett hit a wide open Dylan Kedzior, who found the end zone for the 42 yard score, cutting the Mountaineer lead to 28-10 with 11:33 left in the ball game.
On the ensuing kickoff, a Rogers player fumbled the return and the Zebras recovered, taking over at the Mountaineer 43 yard line. Claremore marched down the field, capping the drive with a one yard touchdown run by Grimett, making the score 28-18 with 6:05 left in the game.
The Claremore defense stood strong on the next series, forcing a turnover on downs when the Mountaineers were unable to convert on fourth down.
Claremore (1-1) took over and used some Zebra magic to cut even further into the Rogers lead. Ben Jones caught a one-handed pass from Grimett with 1:26 remaining to pull the score to 28-25.
However, the Mountaineers (2-0) were able to run out the clock to secure the win.
Claremore head coach Jarrett Hurt was proud of the way his guys responded in the second half.
“We have high character kids and I think that showed in the fourth quarter,” he said. “We never gave up. Unfortunately they started fast and we didn’t. We have to find a way to start a little faster and compete better in the first half.”
The Zebras received the opening kickoff and moved the ball well until their drive stalled and they were unable to convert on fourth down.
Rogers took over and did not waste time getting points on the board. Mountaineer quarterback Hunter Loyd punched the ball in from one yard out with 2:37 left in the first quarter, giving the Mountaineers a 7-0 lead.
The Mountaineers extended their lead to 14-0 when Clay Workman scampered in for a 13 yard run with 7:35 remaining until halftime.
The Zebras were able to put some points on the board at the end of the first half when Carson Highfill hit a 27 yard field goal as time expired. The teams went to intermission with Rogers leading 14-3.
The Zebras host Tulsa Edison next Friday.