BY WENDI REARDON PRICE
Clarkston News Sports Writer
The Wolves cheered as it was announced during the weekend they would face off against a familiar foe this Friday as they host Lake Orion in the MHSAA Football Division 1 Pre-Districts, 7 p.m.
Since seeing the Dragons a few weeks ago and leaving with a win, Clarkston played Oak Park in a OAA crossover game last Friday and lost 21-14.
“We didn’t come out to play,” said Kurt Richardson, long time head coach. “We were flat the first half. Then, we had some chances and we didn’t take advantage of them. They are a pretty darn good football team. We need to learn from it and move on.”
He added going against Oak Park gets the players ready for playoffs.
“They are a very good football team,” he said. “I hope we get out injury free – that’s my biggest concern.”
Oak Park opened the scoring with 5:50 remaining in the first quarter with a touchdown from Corion Montgomery. They scored again to put the lead 14-0 less than three minutes into the second quarter.
The Wolves put themselves on the scoreboard before the first half closed off a 1-yard run by senior Jacob Honstetter with 6:14 remaining on the clock.
Clarkston defense kept the Knights from adding onto their score before going into half-time. With ten seconds remaining, Oak Park opted for a field goal, which didn’t work as their attempt went to low and ended the half, 14-7.
Both teams were scoreless in the third stanza but Clarkston had possession of the ball opening the final quarter and they made it count.
Six seconds in, senior Conor Donahue tied the score off his 11-yard touchdown run into the endzone.
Oak Park broke the tie with a 14-yard touchdown run by Phillip Stewart to close the game with the 21-14 win.
Richardson added what didn’t help the Wolves was having negative plays and being more than 10 yards away from their first down.
“Second and 12, second and 13, second and 11 – it makes it awful hard on the offensive coordinator when we are behind the chain zone,” he said. “It’s something we have struggled with and something we have talked about and talked about. Then, we had some really stupid penalties. We have some work to do, but we will be fine.”
Senior Jake Jensen was 9-for-20 in passing for 113 yards. Donahue caught four passes for 60 yards. Donahue rushed the ball seven times for 47 yards. Senior Tristan Mattson was 2-for-2 on PATs.
Senior Brendan Barker led defense with seven tackles and five assists. Honstetter had six tackles and three assists. Senior Keagan King, senior Josh Luther, senior Jayviar Suggs and junior Hayden Temple had four tackles each. Sophomores Rocco Spindler and Garrett Dellinger had three tackles and three assists each.