CLAREMORE — Trailing by a touchdown early in the second quarter, the Claremore football team cranked things into high gear and four-wheel drove over Tulsa Edison 35-21 at Lantow Field Friday night.
The Zebras (2-1) will open district play next Friday at Tulsa Hale.
Things looked to be in control early for the Zebras, who got an early turnover, an interception by Ben Jones at the Edison 35, which set up a Coleman Parsons 8-yard touchdown run with 2:22 left in the first. A Carson Highfill point-after made it 7-0.
But Edison, led by second-year and former Verdigris coach Tony Daniels, has improved from last year’s 1-9 record. And they showed it by moving the ball right down the field.
A tipped pass landed in the hands of Anthony Jimmerson, who ended up near the Claremore goal line. Two plays later, Sevion Morrison scored from the 6 to tie the game at 7.
Then it was Claremore’s turn to be giving, as quarterback Noah Grimett was sacked and the ball squirted loose into the hands of Edison at the Claremore 28.
It only took one play for Jimmerson to get his second touchdown of the night, and Edison held a 14-7 lead.
That was all the motivation the Zebras would need.
Claremore answered with a long drive that went 88 yards on 10 plays, capped by a 25-yard run up the middle by Parsons. And with 5:19 left in the half, Claremore tied it at 14.
But they were far from done.
On Claremore’s next possession, Grimett found Dylan Kedzior five yards behind the Eagles defense for a 37-yard score with 1:12 left. Claremore now led 21-14.
After Edison fumbled the ensuing kick return, which was recovered by Dakota Hudson at the Edison 34, Claremore had one more trick up its sleeve before intermission — the same play that had just worked.
Grimett found Kedzior once again behind the Eagles defense and the 29-yard touchdown made it 28-14 with 29.3 seconds left.
But Edison had a few tricks of its own. After a nifty kick return, the Eagles marched to the Claremore 28 with four seconds remaining in the half, but on a last-ditch effort to score again, Edison quarterback Brant Hager was sacked by Mickey Bywaters to end the half.
Hudson made the big plays on offense in the second half, breaking off a 38-yard touchdown run with 6:24 left in the third quarter to make it 35-14.
Game in the bag? Think again.
With 48 seconds left in the third quarter, Edison got in the end zone on an 11-yard pass from Hager to Leland Taylor. Claremore still led 35-21.
Edison got the ball back and moved deep into Claremore territory to the 11, but Jones hopped on a fumble at the 6, and the Zebras averted disaster.
Another Claremore turnover, a fumble recovered by Edison at the Zebra 45 early in the fourth quarter started to make the Zebras nervous.
But Claremore was able to force a turnover on downs with 4:33 left and was able to run out the clock.