Fluegel kicks off comeback in win

BY WENDI REARDON PRICE
Clarkston News Sports Writer
Within a span of seven minutes, Bloomfield Hills had scored two touchdowns to take the lead in last Friday’s football game.
Clarkston’s gridiron heroes needed a spark in their 34-20 win, and it came in the form of senior Michael Fluegel and his 53-yard run into the Blackhawk’s territory.
“We did a sweep reverse and he just ran it down the field,” said senior Gino Paese. “It switched the momentum and got us all thinking we can come back.”
Four plays later senior Nate Uballe connected a 14-yard touchdown pass to senior Tieler Houston to tie the score with 9:01 left in the OAA Red game, 20-20.
“We flipped mentality after that,” Paese said.
“It gave us a little spark from there we took over and finally had an answer for the dynamic duo they’ve got,” said Kurt Richardson, long-time head coach for Clarkston Varsity Football. “I didn’t have to say anything to them. They knew there was a sense of urgency and let’s play the game.”
The Wolves defense kept Bloomfield Hills from gaining any ground in their next possession. The control went back to Clarkston who scored three minutes after their last touchdown off a 23-yard touchdown pass to senior Josh Cantu from Uballe.
Clarkston scored again with 2:52 remaining in the game off Cantu’s 55-yard quick run into the end zone, 34-20.

Josh Cantu leaps into the end zone during the Wolves’ home win over Bloomfield Hills. Photo by Larry Wright
Josh Cantu leaps into the end zone during the Wolves’ home win over Bloomfield Hills. Photo by Larry Wright

“The come back was real nice,” said Paese. “It was a tough battle but it was very fun. We love to compete. I give credit to them (Bloomfield) for fighting back. We just lost a little bit of what keeps us motivated and going. We definitely found it again, bounded together, grouped up, and counted on each other. “
Bloomfield Hills opened the game with control of the ball and were unable to score. The Blackhawks punted the ball with junior Wolf Josh Luther catching it and running it 74 yards to the 1-yard line.
Cantu scored on the next play to put Clarkston on the board three minutes into the game. Cantu scored again with 2:55 remaining in the first quarter off a 5-yard run.
“That’s what we are about,” Richardson said about the running game adding Uballe also had some great passes. “We can throw the ball when we have to.”
Uballe went 9-for-11 for passing for 146 yards for two touchdowns.
Cantu ran the ball 146 yards on 23 carries and Fluegel carried the ball six times for 96 yards. Junior Tristan Mattson went 4-for-5 on PATs with one blocked.
Paese led defense with eight tackles with four for losses and had two sacks. Senior Zach Scott and Fluegel each had four tackles and three assists each. Senior Stewart Newblatt had four tackles, one for loss of yards and a safety. Houston had two tackles and two assists and Luther had five tackles.
The Wolves (3-0, 2-0 OAA Red) head to West Bloomfield (1-2, 1-1) on Friday, 7 p.m.
“Every game is a different battle,” Paese said. “Tonight definitely helps our confidence and helps us grow. The next battle is a new challenge, and we will come out with the same mentality.”