By Wendi Reardon Price
Clarkston News Sports Writer
Rochester Hills — As seconds counted down at Rochester Adams High School, there were lots of big hugs and smiling faces as the Wolves took down Adams for their first OAA Red League win last Friday, 45-35, in a thrilling contest.
“We talked a lot about family today and trusting each other and believing in each other,” said Justin Pintar, head coach for Clarkston Varsity Football. “I thought at halftime we got into it a little bit and talked about the things we need to do and we did it. We came out we made the adjustments we talked about making. The first half there were guys who weren’t assignment sound. They were trying to do too much. They figured it out – just do what we are supposed to do.
“I couldn’t be prouder of our defense in the second half.”
The Wolves didn’t waste any time getting on the scoreboard as senior quarterback Michael Hein had a 80-yard touchdown run on Clarkston’s first play of the game.
Rochester Adams tied the score with 8:15 remaining in the first quarter.
Less than a minute later, senior running back Ethan Clark broke out past Adams’ defensive line and down the middle of the field for a 67-yard touchdown run. Another PAT from junior Eddie Langton put the score at 14-7 in favor of Clarkston.
The Highlanders tied the game with three minutes left in the quarter and then took the lead less than two minutes into the second quarter.
The lead was short as Clark caught a pass from Hein for an 80-yard touchdown to tie the game with 10:28 left in the second quarter.
The battle for the lead continued as Highlanders scored with 5:44 left in the quarter and Clark scoring on a one-yard touchdown run just two minutes later, tying the game at 28-28.
The Wolves took the lead, 35-28, with 46 seconds left in the first half as Hein connected on a 13-yard touchdown pass to senior Kohl Jarvis in the corner of the end zone.
Jarvis struck again, this time on defense, when he had a interception return for a 50-yard touchdown with 24 seconds on the clock. A PAT from Langton put the score, 42-38.
“He made a great read,” said Pintar. “We had just scored a touchdown and then he gets that Pick 6. All the sudden, they go from feeling pretty good about a tied game to us going up two scores. I thought that was a huge shift in the game.”
He added Jarvis is a phenomenal player and will be an impact player this season for the Wolves.
“I don’t think he ever takes a play off,” Pintar said of Jarvis. “He has been a phenomenal two way play for us on the field. He does a great job for us at wide receiver and on safety. He is going to give you everything he’s got every play.”
The Highlanders opened the second half with possession and closed in on the Wolves’ end zone. But with 6:41 left in the third quarter, they ran out of downs and couldn’t get past Clarkston’s defense for the one yard they needed.
Six minutes and 13 plays later, the Wolves scored with 28 seconds left in the third quarter off a 23-yard field goal from Langton.
“We knew coming into this game they were going to be aggressive with their defense,” Pintar said. “We knew we would have to take some shots, and we hit those shots. It was huge in the first half. In the second half, we still wanted to be aggressive. We didn’t want to totally take our foot off the pedal, but we needed to chew the clock with the lead that we had.
“Hats off because that is a very good offense. Those three points were big making it a two-score game at the end.”
Langton also went 6-for-6 on PATs against the Highlanders and went 8-for-9 on PATs against Southfield A & T the week before.
“We call him ‘Steady Eddie,’” Pintar smiled. “He is. He is super consistent. The one we missed last week is because we got a block. It wasn’t his fault. He does an outstanding job. Steady Eddie – that’s why we love him.”
Rochester Adams’ lone score in the second half was with 10:24 left in the game.
The Wolves (2-1, 1-0 OAA Red) head to West Bloomfield (3-0, 1-0) on Friday.
“We know it’s going to be another one of these back-and-forth dog fights,” said Pintar. “They have a tremendous offense, a lot of talent on both sides of the ball. They will be similar but a different styles. They are going to be aggressive on defense.”
Pintar added the win over Rochester Adams will help the team’s momentum going into the game against West Bloomfield.
“It makes them believe just a little bit more,” he said. “We can do this. We are that good. We keep telling them we can be as good as anyone in the state. This points us in the right direction.”
Kickoff is 7 p.m. at 4925 Orchard Lake Road in West Bloomfield Township, 48323.