Photographs by Special to NWA Democrat-Gazette/DAVID BEACH
Timothy Howard (center) of Rogers High wraps up Claremore, Okla., quarterback Christian Gotcher as he attempts to pass Friday at Whitey Smith Stadium in Rogers.
Saturday, September 9, 2017
ROGERS -- Rogers High picked up its second consecutive win in exciting fashion Friday night at Whitey Smith Stadium. But it was quite different from last week's come-from-behind victory.
Instead, Rogers was forced to hold off a big fourth-quarter rally to claim a 28-25 win over Claremore, Okla.
Rogers High 28, Claremore, Okla. 25
Claremore, Okla 0 3 0 22 25
Rogers 7 7 14 0 28
Rogers-Loyd 1 run (Hernandez kick), 2:37.
Rogers-Workman 13 run (Hernandez kick), 7:35.
Clare-FG, Highfill 26, :00.
Rogers-Dake 17 pass from Loyd (Hernandez kick), 7:58.
Rogers-Hawkins 41 pass from Loyd (Hernandez kick), 1:32.
Clare-Kedzior 42 pass from Grimett (Highfill kick), 11:33.
Clare-Grimett 1 run (Grimett pass to Kedzior), 6:05.
Clare-Jones 6 pass from Grimett (Highfill kick), 1:26.
Claremore (1-1) scored 22 points in the final quarter aided by a pair of Rogers miscues, but Mounties managed to run out the clock to celebrate the home win.
The Zebras trailed 28-3 after three quarters, but gained momentum when Rogers botched a snap on a punt that gave Claremore a short field. After a quick score pulled the Zebras within 28-10, Claremore recovered the ensuing onside kick and drove 43 yards for another touchdown.
Quarterback Noah Grimett scored on the keeper then found tight end Ben Jones for the two-point conversion to pull Claremore within 28-18 with 6:05 left. After a Rogers punt, Claremore wasn't done. Grimett found Jones in the corner of the end zone for a spectacular catch with 1:32 left to get the Zebras within three.
However, the Mounties (2-0) managed to run out the clock for the win.
Rogers High coach Mike Loyd said he thought a couple times of last week's game in which the Mounties rallied from 13 down in the final minutes to win. But he still saw improvement from a week ago and was proud of the win.
"You know what, you still came out with two Ws," Loyd said. "That's how it is in football sometimes especially with a young football team. Our kids hung on and found a way to win," Loyd said. "That's a senior-laden football team over there. We made some plays when we had to.
"I thought our defense played well throughout. A lot of people are getting better and better and that's kinda what it's about."
Rogers also played the fourth quarter without senior Colin McWhorter, who was injured. He wasn't effective running the ball, but McWhorter was a key in the short passing game. The running back had eight catches for 88 yards. Loyd was unsure of his status following the game.
Claremore coach Jarett Hurt was pleased with his team's heart, but two first-half drives that ended on downs deep in Rogers territory proved to be too much to overcome.
"In the third quarter it looked pretty dim, but our guys got a lotta heart, almost deja vu from last year," Hurt said. "They started fast, we didn't."
Grimett keyed the Zebras' comeback. He threw for two fourth-quarter touchdowns and a two-point conversion. He also ran for a score.
Rogers dominated the first three quarters to grab a 28-3 lead as quarterback Hunter Loyd ran for one score and threw for two more. The sophomore finished 18 of 26 passing for 245 yards, but was a big 8 of 9 for 131 in two big third-quarter drives to help the Mounties take a seemingly commanding lead.
Sports on 09/09/2017
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