Claremore not intimidated by Carl Albert’s 33 straight wins, 14 state championships
Carl Albert's reputation in 5A football is probably worth a couple of touchdowns per game. The Titans have won the past two state championships (14 overall), are on a 33-game winning streak, and are ranked No. 1 in the class this season.
That reputation won't fly Friday when the Claremore Zebras come to Midwest City to take on the Goliath of the west in the 5A quarterfinals.
"I think most teams are defeated before they ever get off the bus at Carl Albert," said Claremore head coach Jarrett Hurt, who has his team invading Carl Albert's stadium in the second round of the playoffs for the second straight season. "Our players won't be intimidated. They are really looking forward to the challenge."
Last year's game was a 49-23 Claremore loss. But that Titan team was much better than this year's bunch.
"Carl Albert has a really good football team this year, but their team last year was off the charts," Hurt said.
In order to pull the upset, the Zebras will need to play defense like they did against Tulsa Edison and Sevion Morrison, who didn't rush for even 100 yards after averaging about 260 yards per game during the regular season. Claremore turned Edison turnovers into points, something that would help the Zebras Friday night.
"Carl Albert likes to get the ball to their athletes in space," Hurt said. "We feel like our defense matches up well with them. Our defense is playing at a high level. I believe our guys will continue to play with a lot of swagger this week."
Carl Albert is averaging 36.6 points per game and allowing just over a touchdown per contest. Claremore is scoring 24.5 points and allowing 17.3. One thing going for Claremore is this is familiar territory. The Zebras have been there, done that. It is becoming a routine to make it past the first round of the playoffs, and taking on the best teams in 5A.
"Our upperclassmen are familiar with Carl Albert after playing there last year," Hurt said. "This definitely gives us an advantage this year."
Friday's winner will take on the survivor of the Guthrie vs. Collinsville game next Friday.
The winner of that game will play for the 5A championship.