BY WENDI REARDON PRICE
Clarkston News Sports Writer
Cheers erupted from the sidelines and stands as freshman Ethan Clark scored a two-point conversion to seal a 22-21 overtime win over Southfield at the Wolves Homecoming game on Friday.
“It felt amazing,” said Clark. “I just gave it my best effort and got into the end zone. I gave all my effort to the seniors, the coaches and what they taught me. I gave it all for them.”
When the fourth quarter closed during Clarkston Varsity Football’s Homecoming game, both teams were at a 14-14 score.
The Warriors were up first in the overtime period. Junior Rocco Spindler stopped them on their first attempt. For their next attempt, Southfield threw a pass and senior Wolf Datrius McKinney was ready as he knocked the pass down.
Southfield scored on their third down with a 10-yard touchdown pass from senior Anthony Romphf to senior Christian Fitzpatrick.
Junior Justin Buchmann gained one yard on the Wolves’ first attempt on their turn. They scored on the next play with a 9-yard run by Clark into the end zone.
A penalty was called against Southfield during the PAT attempt, moving the ball to the one-and-a-half yard line.
The Wolves set up for a 2-point conversion and Clark ran it in for two point conversion.
Long time head coach Kurt Richardson said the play is something they always have in the back of their mind if there is a penalty on a PAT attempt.
“Some people don’t care for it,” he said. “one-and-a-half yard line if you can’t get that, you don’t deserve to win.”
Richardson added the players showed their character during the night.
“They could have blown us out,” he said. “Those first ten minutes was like shoot, it was like a track meet. We made some great adjustments and kids kept scrapping, biting and playing tough Clarkston Football. Great job at the end.”
Southfield took control of the score with 7:22 remaining in the first quarter with a touchdown run by Robert Army. Then, scored on a touchdown pass three minutes later. The Wolves closed in on the score with a 33-yard run by Buchmann down the middle of the field into the end zone six minutes into the second quarter. The PAT from senior Chris Acevedo was no good and the score remained at 6-14.
Less than two minutes later, junior Alec Boan intercepted Southfield’s pass on their third down to put the Wolves on their own 47-yard line. Runs by Clark and junior Jack Gurn moved the ball closer to the end zone.
Buchmann made another touchdown run – this time 28 yards on the carry with 1:16 remaining in the first half. Sophomore quarterback Mike DePillo held onto the ball on a 2-point conversion to tie the game.
“It was more than just a win,” said Richardson. “It’s a win you can build. The kids carry their confidence and a lot of good things happened. It was just a great win for their emotions, for their culture, for everything they are about.”
“It shows how much passion we have and how we play as a team,” Clark added.
Buchmann rushed the ball 12 times for 103 yards and two touchdowns and Clark ran the the ball 97 yards on 15 carries with one touchdown and a 2-point conversion.
“He’s a heck of a player,” Richardson said of Clark, who also made big plays in the Oxford win on Sept. 27. “He got better every week and you could see it coming. We kept losing kids so he had to step up.”
Senior Dylan Erskine led defense with seven tackles. Junior Rocco Spindler had five tackles and one blocked pass. Junior Harry Skinner and sophomore Caleb Stalworth had five tackles each. Junior Ayden Brooks had four tackles, McKinney had three tackles and one interception and junior Alex Boan had two tackles and an interception.
The Wolves (3-3, 3-1 OAA Red) prep for the next two games on their schedule against Rochester Adams and Lake Orion.
“They are two great programs,” Richardson said. “We love playing them.”
“We just have to keep looking forward and try winning every game,” Clark added.
The Highlanders (4-2, 2-2) host Clarkston this Friday. Kick off is at 7 p.m.