BARTLESVILLE — Class 5A No. 7 Claremore held off Class 6A-II No. 6 Bartlesville, 40-28, at Custer Stadium on Friday night.
Here are five things to know from the matchup.
1. Zebras end losing streak to Bartlesville
History wasn’t on Claremore’s side, but that didn’t stop coach Jarrett Hurt’s squad from seizing its moment.
The Zebras ended their five-game losing streak to the Bruins on Friday, becoming the first Claremore High team to defeat a Bartlesville-based program in 38 years.
Claremore held a 12-7 series advantage over Sooner High and College High before the schools merged in 1982 to form the current Bartlesville High.
The Zebras are now 1-5 overall against the Bruins.
2. Turnovers crucial for Claremore defense
The ‘Turnover Chain’ phenomena has come to Rogers County.
Claremore showed off its celebratory red and white chain after forcing two Bruin turnovers, both of which came with Bartlesville in Zebra territory.
Middle linebacker Ethan Grimett had perhaps the most momentous of the two, though, intercepting Bartlesville quarterback Ben Winters near midfield with 3:30 remaining to seal the Claremore victory.
The first takeaway came in early second quarter when defensive end Thomas Mason dove on a fumble at the Zebra 28-yard line, derailing a promising drive for the Bruins.
Mason tallied a safety the next Bartlesville drive, giving Claremore a 12-0 lead after a well-place punt pinned the Bruins at their own 1-yard line.
3. Bruins rally from 26-point deficit
After Claremore stormed to a 26-0 halftime lead, the game looked all but over.
To put it even more in perspective, the Zebras held Bartlesville to minus-6 yards rushing and 27 yards overall in the first half.
However, the Bruins emerged from the locker room a different team, scoring 28 of the next 35 points to come within five at 33-28 with 6:46 remaining.
Winters led the charge with touchdown tosses of 5, 13 and 45 yards, the latter two of which came within less than two minutes of each other in the fourth quarter.
The other score came on a 50-yard interception return from Caden Davis with 6:46 remaining in the third for Bartlesville’s first points of the game.
4. Kinnard impressive in first start
With Claremore star running back Jace Hightower out of commission with an elbow injury suffered in the Wagoner scrimmage on Aug. 29, the Zebras needed someone to pick up the slack.
DeShawn Kinnard did just that.
The 6-foot-0, 160-pound sophomore bullied his way to 92 yards on 20 carries, including a 33-yard burst on a third down late in the fourth quarter that led to Claremore’s game-clinching touchdown with 25 seconds left.
Kinnard also snagged a 21-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Charlie Murdock in the early stages of the fourth, giving the Zebras a 33-14 advantage.
5. Claremore pass attack electric
Charlie Murdock wouldn’t be denied.
Despite Bartlesville’s tight coverage early, the senior quarterback eventually broke through in a big way.
Murdock completed 20 of 28 passes for 261 yards and four touchdowns while also rushing for 30 yards and a score.
The pick-six was his only blunder, but he more than atoned for it, for he went on to throw two touchdown passes and rush for another after the error.
He connected with Quentin Skinner for touchdowns of 47 and 14 yards before hitting Dylan Kedzior for a 57-yard scoring strike.
Kedzior led the Zebras with 115 yards and seven receptions, and Skinner had four catches for 93 yards.
Check out the Tuesday edition for the full game story with thoughts from players and coach Hurt.