Round two leaves Orion feeling (gold and) blue

A strong wind blew into the Wolves? stadium but couldn’t drown out the cheers from fans dressed in blue and gold as the gridiron gang won the first round in district playoffs, 17-7.
The game came down to the final quarter as Clarkston led Lake Orion by three points.
Chris Canada led the defense as Lake Orion fumbled the ball with nine minutes remaining in the district playoff game.
Bryan Haslinger swooped in and recovered, putting the Wolves in control on their own 19-yard line.
The Wolves closed in on Orion’s endzone but soon found themselves at their fourth down with four minutes left in the game.
Quarterback Tyler Scarlett took the chance to pass the ball but with no opening in sight, he threw the ball to the end of the field.
Running back Dakota Bender jumped into the air and caught the 31-yard pass before Orion’s defensiveback Vinnie Booker could drag it in. Bender stepped backward into the endzone and scored the touchdown, ending a 81-yard drive in 14 plays.
‘It wasn’t even suppose to go to him,? Wolves Head Coach Kurt Richardson admitted after the game. ‘It was suppose to go to the other side ? that is just Dakota’s athleticism, going up and getting it.?
The team rejoiced after the hard-fought game following last week’s win over the Dragons, 42-13.
‘You can always expect a good game from Lake Orion,? said Senior Dustin Gamble. ‘Last week it just didn’t go their way and this week was more of what we expected. After last week’s loss we knew they were going to come out.?
The boys put points on the board in the first quarter with a 30-yard field goal from Brian Benway with 2:07 left on the clock.
The Dragons captured the lead after grabbing possession of the ball on Clarkston’s fumble.
Daniel Ney made a 5-yard run with 3:28 left in the first half. Lake Orion grabbed control only seconds later when the Wolves fumbled the ball on the kick-return and the Dragons recovered the ball.
Justin Baetz, Jordan Clark and Jack Durkan kept the Dragons from adding another touchdown before Canada intercepted the ball and Clarkston was in control of the play.
The Wolves came back from half-time and closed in on Lake Orion’s territory. The boys found themselves on their fourth and 12 on the 26-yard line. Scarlett threw a 24-yard pass to Derek Booker putting the boys on the 2-yard line.
Bender ran up the middle after getting the handoff from Scarlett and pushed through the defense huddle to make it past the goal line.
‘It was a well-fought game from both teams,? said Gamble. ‘Some mistakes on both sides of the ball but we came out on top.?
Though both sides made mistakes and raked up penalties Richardson said he felt much better about this win than the previous win.
‘We knew it was going to be a dog fight with them,? he continued. ‘We knew Chris (Bell) would have his kids foaming at the mouth. My hats off to Orion – they played their butts off.?
Benway kicked 2-2 on PATs.
Clarkston moves on for the final game in the district playoffs this Friday. They face Romeo, who beat Grand Blanc, 35-21, last Friday.
‘They took us out in the first round (of districts) last year,? said Gamble thinking back to the 38-7 loss last year on Romeo’s field.
‘We are looking forward to go in there and get some revenge,? he added.
Clarkston (10-0) hosts the Bulldogs (8-2) on Friday. Kick off is at 6:55 p.m.