Coach calls for defense focus

BY WENDI REARDON PRICE
Clarkston News Sports Writer
The scoreboard at the end of the night at Southfield Arts & Technology lit up with the Wolves’ fifth consecutive win of the season last Friday, 30-21.
What the score didn’t reflect was what long-time Clarkston Varsity Football Head Coach Kurt Richardson saw on the field.
“We did a lot of nice things,” he said. “But we had way too many penalties. We gave up too much yardage defensively.”
It was a repeat of penalties the Wolves had against Rochester Adams the win prior on Sept. 14.
“We were sloppy,” he admitted. “We tackled sloppy.”
Richardson added they can’t tackle as much during practice.

Seniors Brendan Baker and Jayviar Suggs take down the ball carrier for the Warriors. Photo by Larry Wright

“We used to tackle all the time and we can’t anymore,” he said. “The penalties is lack of focus.”
The Wolves took control of the game with a 16-yard touchdown by quarterback Jake Jensen.
The Warriors tied the score in the second quarter and a 42-yard field goal by Wolf Tristan Mattson brought Clarkston back into the lead.
The Wolves scored two more times with a 28-yard touchdown pass from Jensen to Joey Steger and a 4-yard touchdown run by Jensen with the first half closing, 24-14.
“Offense was good the first half,” said Richardson. “I think it bulked down the second half. We had 2-4 chances to put the game on ice, and we didn’t do it. There were too many negative plays.”
Mattson scored his second of three field goals in the third quarter off a 46-yard kick to put the lead at 27-14.
Southfield closed in with a touchdown and PAT in the fourth quarter. Before they could take an opportunity to score again, Mattson kicked a 20-yard field goal with a minute left in the game to close the night, 30-21.
Jensen threw 7-for-14 passes for 103 yards. Jake Billette rushed the ball 13 times for 130 yards and Jacob Honstetter rushed the ball 17 times for 109 yards
Mattson was 3-for-3 on PATs and had three field goals.
“Tristan was outstanding again. No doubt about it,” Richardson said. “He has been unbelievable so far.”
For defense, Keagan King and Jayviar Suggs had six tackles each. Two of Suggs’ tackles results in yards lost for Southfield. Josh Luther and Dylan Erksine had five tackles each. Max Nicklin had five tackles and one interception. Garrett Dellinger had four tackles, two of which were sacks.
The Wolves (5-0, 3-0 OAA Red) head to Bloomfield Hills (1-4, 0-3) on Friday and Richardson added the boys can turn around penalties and get better on the field by practicing harder than they have been starting with this week.
“We have to have more focus in practice and getting more done,” he added. “We have to quit thinking we are good and start working harder.”
Kick off is at 7 p.m., 4200 Andover Road in Bloomfield Hills.