COLLINSVILLE — Collinsville had a few tricks ready for Claremore in a heated District 5A-4 battle Friday night at Sallee Field.
After a Claremore penalty gave Collinsville a first down from the Zebras’ 10-yard line, the Cardinals scored on a reverse from Levi Draper to Brett Erickson, who passed to his wide-open quarterback Seth Boomer in the end zone.
Collinsville took a 28-14 lead with 6:11 left and held on to defeat the visiting Zebras for the first time since 1965.
“Huge win for us,” Collinsville coach Kevin Jones said. “They’re a tough, physical football team, and we knew they were going to make it hard on us.”
As wild as it looked, the zany fourth-quarter play might not have been the biggest one of the game for Collinsville (7-2, 5-1).
Trailing the Zebras 14-7 with 7:12 left in the first half, No. 6 Collinsville changed the flow of the game when Draper stripped the ball from a Claremore running back, plowed a blocker and ran it 13 yards into the end zone.
“It was big for momentum,” said Draper, who also plays linebacker. “We needed a turnover and I saw my opportunity. It got us going tonight.”
Halftime came with the teams tied at 14.
Claremore (5-4, 3-3), playing for a crack at the playoffs, was forced to punt four times in the second half and picked up only two first downs.
The Zebras struck first on a 75-yard run by Keegan Hisey with 7:22 left in the first quarter.
They handed the ball off only 17 more times on the night, as drives were cut short on turnovers or penalties.
Collinsville running back Dylan Russell, who also plays alongside Draper as a linebacker, snatched a pass to seal the win with 4:44 left, just as Claremore was threatening to cut into the two-score lead.
Sixth-ranked Collinsville is pining for a home game in the first round of playoffs.
“Our goal is to be playing here in the first round, to be playing at home,” Jones said.
“That goal is intact right now, and we even still have a chance to win the district. We’re excited.”