Claremore tops Memorial in 5A
BY JOHN D. FERGUSON World Correspondent
Saturday, November 10, 2012
11/10/12 at 6:51 AM
CLAREMORE - No. 5 Claremore mixed trickery with hard-nosed football to outlast Memorial 35-26 in a Class 5A high school playoff game on Friday night.
The 10-1 Zebras advance to next week's second round while the Chargers end their season at 8-3.
Claremore Quarterback Matt Whatley ran for two touchdowns and threw for another. Wide receiver Dustin Basks caught a 27-yard TD pass and threw for a score off a fake field goal. Running back Jordan Cunningham got beat up rushing the ball, but had a TD and gained yards when the Zebras needed them the most.
Cunningham had a game-high 131 yards on 26 carries. He accounted for over half of the team's 253 yards on the ground.
Whatley threw for 88 yards. He completed 7-of-11 attempts and punted for a 40-yard average.
Basks caught three passes for 54 yards. His fake field-goal pass to Bear Hope was perfect.
"I was very nervous," Basks said. "I just wanted to make the right pass."
Cunningham struggled to break through the tough Memorial defense early on. When he finally did, there was a simple reason.
"My team stepped up and the line did an amazing job," Cunningham said. "I'm so proud of the team. I just found the hole and I did it for my team."
Chargers wide receiver Jermane Rathod caught nine passes for 105 yards. Defensively, Maleek Greenlee made two great hits for losses in the first half that thwarted Claremore drives.
Quarterback Keith Driver rushed for two TDs and passed for another.
The game was 14-14 tied at halftime.
The Zebras scored first on an 11-play, 60-yard drive aided by a fake punt on fourth and five from the Memorial 35.
Basks caught an 11-yard pass from Whatley. Later in the drive, Cunningham scored from a yard out with 2:23 left in the opening quarter.
The Chargers answered, marching 80 yards to score on Driver's 2-yard dive.
CLAREMORE 35, MEMORIAL 26
C: Cunningham 1 run (Vincent kick)
M: Driver 2 run (un failed)
C: Hope 6 pass from Basks (Vincent kick)
M: Walker 34 pass from Driver (Murphy pass from Driver)
C: Whatley 1 run (Vincent kick)
C: Basks 27 pass from Whatley (Vincent kick)
M: Dean 1 run (run failed)
M: Driver 1 run (run failed)
C: Whatley 20 run (Vincent kick)