By Wendi Reardon Price
Clarkston News Sports Writer
Ann Arbor — Clarkston Varsity Football found themselves in a Battle at the Big House last week and they learned a lot in their season opener loss to Davison, 28-21
One of the lessons the Wolves learned in last Thursday’s match-up at University of Michigan’s stadium was they’re fighters.
“I like that we battled,” said Justin Pintar, in his first season as head coach. “We competed all the way to the end. Defensively, I thought we could do a better job of stopping the runs, and offensively we have to do a better job at running the ball. They controlled the line of scrimmage. When that happens it’s hard to win football games.”
Both teams finished the first quarter scoreless as Davison held possession of the ball after Clarkston ran out of downs with two minutes left in the quarter.
Less than two minutes into the second stanza the Cardinals scored on a 5-yard touchdown yard by senior Jay’len Flowers. With a successful PAT from senior Bradyn Titsworth, they took the lead, 7-0.
Clarkston tied the score with 25 seconds remaining to half time when senior quarterback connected a 6-yard touchdown pass to junior wide receiver Brody Kosin in the end zone. The PAT was successful from junior Eddie Langton.
Davison scored eight minutes into the second half on a 2-yard run and scored again less than two minutes into the final quarter off a 7-yard touchdown run from Flowers to lead, 21-7.
The Wolves closed the gap with a six-yard touchdown run from senior wide receiver Kohl Jarvis with 8:57 left in the game.
Clarkston defense attempted to slow down the Cardinals’ flight but with 4:24 remaining, senior Teon Armstrong caught a 32-yard touchdown pass.
The Wolves started possession on the 35-yard line in Davison’s territory. Hein held onto the ball, taking it to the 49-yard line. Then, he connected a pass to senior wide receiver Cole Church, putting the Wolves 25 yards away from the end zone.
In the next play, Hein connected another throw – this time a 35-yard touchdown pass to senior running back Ethan Clark. A PAT from Langton put the Wolves, 28-21.
The Wolves covered the on side kick and they started play on the 48 yard line.
“Defense did a pretty good job of creating some turnovers and knocking the ball loose. They did a nice job at the end recovering the on side kick,” Pintar said.
A pass to Jarvis put Clarkston on the 38-yard line and a handoff to Clark brought them down to the 25-yard line. But soon they found themselves on the fourth down with 23 yards to go.
Hein threw a pass to junior wide receiver Desman Stephens and Davison’s Armstrong intercepted the ball on the 3-yard line.
The Cardinals finished the night taking a knee on three of their downs.
“I think there were positives to take out of the game. We just couldn’t consistently run the ball,” said Pintar.
“Too many negative plays,” he added. “I thought we had a lot of negative plays that hurt us and that is something we try to emphasize is no negative plays. I liked how we competed but I am disappointed we had the mistakes that we had. There are things we can clean up. Davison is a good football team. They are going to be tough opponent for anyone who plays them. Hats off to them. I know we can play better football than we did today.”
He added the game will help as the Wolves host Southfield Arts & Technology this Thursday and then head to Rochester Adams next week for their first OAA Red match up.
“It’s definitely a game that gets us ready for the tough competition we are going to see,” Pintar said. “Next team up. There are no days off. We will regroup. We will learn from our mistakes and get better. We will have a better effort next week.”
Kick off against the Warriors on Thursday is at 7 p.m.
Join the Wolves prior to the game as they honor former long-time head coach Kurt Richardson, who retired this past February.
The on field ceremony begins at 6:30 p.m. Clarkston Athletics is asking former players and anyone who has coached with Richardson to arrive by 6:15 p.m.
Richardson, who ended his run as varsity head coach after 35 years, had 274 wins under his belt. Some of his accolades at the helm include three MHSAA Division 1 Football State Championships in 2013, 2014 and 2017, seven regional championships, ten district championships and 14 league championships.