MIDWEST CITY — The 2017 season came to an abrupt end for the Claremore Zebras football team, falling 49-23 to the high-powered Carl Albert Titans in the second round of the Class 5A playoffs.
Noah Grimett led the Zebras with 144 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries, while completing 15 of 33 passes for 125 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception.
Titans quarterback Ben Harris completed 10 of 16 passes for 195 yards, three touchdowns, and one interception in the win.
Claremore ends the season with a 7-5 record, while also taking their team to the second round of the playoffs for the first time since 2012.
After the Zebras were forced to punt on their first possession, the Titans took over and did not waste any time finding the end zone. Harris found Jason Taylor for a 47 yard touchdown pass on the third play of the series.
Claremore went three and out on their next possession and would punt the ball back to Carl Albert. Harris struck again, this time finding Jonathan Mosley for a 48 yard score on their first play of their next possession.
On the ensuing possession, the Zebras looked like they were going to finally find the end zone. Instead they drove to the Titan two yard line, where Carl Albert recovered a Claremore fumble with 4:01 left in the opening quarter.
The Zebras got their revenge by sacking Harris in the end zone on the next play, cutting the Titan lead to 14-2 with 3:57 left in the first quarter.
Carl Albert (12-0) looked to increase their lead as the first quarter came to a close, but a 17 yard field goal was blocked by the Zebras.
Claremore took possession as the second quarter started. The Zebras drove 93 yards on 9 plays and scored when Noah Grimett found Mickey Bywaters for a nine yard touchdown pass. The Titans lead was cut to 14-9 with 7:14 left until halftime.
Carl Albert’s Dadrion Taylor racked up back-to-back touchdowns for the Titans, on runs of 70 and three yards, increasing the Carl Albert lead to 28-9, which would be the halftime score.
The Titans started the second half with fireworks without even taking a snap.
Chris Veals ran the opening kick of the second half 93 yards to the end zone to give the Titans a 35-9 lead with just 15 seconds removed from the clock.
The Zebras refused to give up as Grimett rumbled in for a 21-
yard score with 8:13 left in the third quarter, cutting the Titan lead to 35-16.
But that is as close as Claremore would get.
Harris found Mosley again, this time for a 42 yard score with 8:38 left in the game, making it 42-16. Jaylenn Lewis increased the lead, as the Titans were running down the clock, when he ran in a 35 yard touchdown with 5:44 showing on the clock.
Grimett found Luke Williams for a 39 yard touchdown with 4:22 left. Carl Albert led 49-23, the games final score.