BY WENDI REARDON PRICE
Clarkston News Sports Writer
The gridiron heroes finished their traditional post-game dance celebration before turning their attention to Conor Donahue.
All of the players burst into singing Happy Birthday to Donahue, who finished the night of his birthday helping the Wolves to a 17-7 victory over Southfield Arts & Technology .
Kurt Richardson, long-time head coach for the Clarkston Varsity Football team, reflected it was a good win for the boys especially since Southfield scored 54 points in their season opener.
“Southfield is a good football team and our kids felt like we should have beat them last year,” he said. “They have been gearing for this one. They have been hearing about ‘Southfield this’ and ‘Southfield that.’ They were up for it. They were ready. Plus, they wanted to play on the (new) field.”
It came to defending their turf, slowing down their running game, and keeping the Warriors’ Division 1 runningback from scoring, he added.
For defense, senior Zach Scott led with 11 tackles, six of which caused lost of yards for Southfield, and he had one interception. Sophomore Josh Pacolt had four tackles, two with losses. Senior Tieler Houston had three tackles and one interception. Junior Jayviar Suggs and senior Anthony Simmons each had two tackles and recovered a fumble. Seniors Nathan Ladd and Cody Hughes each had three tackles.
“Zach was unbelievable tonight,” said Richardson. “He made tons of tackles, a pick and he was all over the field. He is our leader on defense. He directs everything. I am very impressed with Zach tonight.”
Scott’s interception started a 50-yard drive which ended with quarterback Nate Uballe scoring a touchdown on less than 1-yard in 10 plays with 10 minutes to go in the first half.
It put the score at 10-0 with junior Tristan Mattson’s 38-yard field goal, scored with 6:35 remaining in the first quarter.
Southfield scored with 22 seconds remaining in the first half with a touchdown pass to Mathew Gilbert, putting the score 10-7.
The Wolves put more distance in the score after a long drive in the third quarter which ended with Uballe connecting a 10-yard pass in the endzone to Donahue with 1:35 remaining in the quarter.
Uballe went 9-for-19 for 105 yards in passing. Senior Tieler Houston caught three passes for 40 yards and Donahue caught two passes for 16 yards. Senior Josh Cantu was the leading rusher, carrying the ball 23 times for 68 yards and three first downs. Mattson was 2-for-2 on PATs.
“Uballe gets better and better,” said Richardson. “Tieler said he could take the kid so we went with what they said they could do. I am happy with what we’ve got. We’ve got some young pups on the offensive line. They mature every day. We are getting there.”
The Wolves (2-0, 1-0 OAA Red) host Bloomfield Hills (2-0, 1-0 OAA Red) on Friday for the ninth annual Football for a Cure, which all money raised is donated to Karmanos Cancer Institutes in both communities. The donations help patients with non-medical expenses.
“Everyone is a winner,” shared Carrie Wheeler, from McLaren Clarkston. “Thank you to both the teams, both the communities and Karmanos. We are very excited to be engaged in this game this year. The community has really wrapped their arms around this and we are really blessed. It really is helping all of our patients.”