Clarkston drops OAA Red battle in road contest

By Wendi Reardon Price
Clarkston News Sports Writer
West Bloomfield — Clarkston Varsity Football finished their fourth week of play with a 35-27 loss to undefeated West Bloomfield.
“We kept competing,” said Justin Pintar, head coach. “It’s something we can take out of every game. I don’t think we have had guys hang their heads and give up especially when we got down there quite a bit.
“Any football game you play there are things you can learn from it,” he continued. “You don’t want a loss, but sometimes it helps to get in the right direction. We have had teams like our 2018 team, took one on the chin against Oxford that year late in the season. It woke us up, and we went on a run to Ford Field. Hopefully that’s what happens out of this.”
Clarkston opened the night with a 17-yard touchdown run from Ethan Clark with 7:25 left in the first quarter. A PAT from Eddie Langton put the Wolves up 7-0.
The Lakers came back with two back-to-back touchdowns to gain a 14-7 lead.
“I liked we came out and scored right away,” said Pintar. “But then we couldn’t sustain that momentum. They made some plays. There were some plays that were 50/50 balls that we could have made the play on and they both ended up with touchdowns. Those were two huge plays that could have been game changers.”

Ethan Clark rushes the ball in the first half against West Bloomfield. Photo: Larry Wright

Clark tied the game with 6:50 left in the second quarter on a 7-yard touchdown run.
West Bloomfield closed the first half with a touchdown with 1:16 remaining on the clock. They scored twice in the third quarter to lead 35-14.
Before they could score again senior Jaylen Wilson intercepted a pass with 1:15 left in the quarter.
With five seconds left, the Wolves closed the Lakers’ lead to 35-21 when quarterback Steven Kossak scored on a 10-yard touchdown run. Kossak stepped to play in the game when senior quarterback Michael Hein could not.
“First game as a starter you are on the road at West Bloomfield, that’s pretty tough game for the first game,” said Pintar. “Mike has been dealing with something so we were able to get Stevie some reps this week. We still thought Mike would be able to go. Then, that didn’t go at the last minute. We knew Stevie would be ready. He had a mistake early and I thought he did a nice job of bouncing back from that. He didn’t let that keep him down. He battled. There were a few times he made plays with his feet that really helped us and kept drives alive. We scored off on the one. He did a great job competing for us.
West Bloomfield took over possession of the ball and was down to their last down with seven yards to go on the clock. Clark sacked the quarterback and the Wolves took over possession on the 25-yard line in their turf.
“We started with playing with him on defense,” Pintar said about Clark. “He is a gamer. He competes. He plays his butt off all the time. So we started playing with him a little bit the last couple weeks on defense, and he is starting to get more and more comfortable in that role. He just competes. He does everything you ask of him. He is a kid we just have a tough time of taking off the field. He wants to be out there. He wants those plays anytime he can get them.”
With just over three minutes to go in the game, Kossak scored on a 1-yard touchdown pass. Langton’s PAT was blocked as Clarkston trailed 35-27.
“We can’t get ourselves behind like that against a team that’s as good as West Bloomfield,” Pintar said. “Getting behind in the game it is just a recipe for disaster.”
The Wolves (2-2, 1-1 OAA Red) host Oxford (1-3, 0-2) on Friday. Kick off is 7 p.m.

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