Undefeated on the gridiron

Oxford Middle School can proudly proclaim that it has three teams finish without a loss during the fall season.
In addition to the seventh grade girls basketball team, who went 12-0, the eighth and seventh grade football teams each went 6-0 and captured league titles.
Eighth grade coach Steve Ruch thought that it was a tremendous accomplishment.
‘The kids worked hard all year,? he said. ‘This is a very talented group of kids and I think you will see that in coming years when they move up to the high school.?
Players on the eighth grade team are not accustomed to losing because this was the second straight year they finished the season with a perfect record.
For Ruch, the biggest challenge for the boys was adjusting to a new league with teams from Lake Orion, Avondale, Clarkston and Pontiac.
‘We didn’t really know to much about the teams that we were playing…and not knowing a whole lot about those teams certainly made it more difficult to prepare the kids every week,? Ruch said.
The offense was lead by Chase Lalla, Glacier Wallington and Scott Stubenrauch, while the defensive leaders were Scott Randell, Collin Campbell and Anthony Moore.
‘The biggest thing they brought was the desire to play football,? Ruch said. ‘They had fun with it, and because of that it was contagious with the other kids.?
* * *
Seventh grade coach Brian Cisneros said that it was a total team effort to stay undefeated throughout the entire season.
The strength of the team was its offensive play, lead by quarterback Brenden Lewis and running backs John Patrick and Anson Rowley.
‘Offensively we did pretty well,? Cisneros said. ‘I think our defense came together at the end of the season and we almost shut out Lake Orion in our last game.?
Cisneros said going undefeated was something they set out to do at the beginning of the season. ‘We knew we were going into a new league and we would have tougher competition.?
However, that was the goal of the players from the very beginning.
‘That is what the kids wanted,? he said. ‘We talked about it before the season and their goal was to go undefeated. We looked back at it after each game and said there is one step closer towards the goal.?

Following the Wolves winning the OAA Red league title from Lake Orion on Friday – they learned they would face their rivals again for the second week in a row.
The announcement came Sunday night as MHSAA posted the district playoff pairings.
‘It’s do or die now,? said Senior Quarterback Tyler Scarlett, following Clarkston’s 42-13 win on Friday night. ‘It’s a new season now – no letdowns.?
As the boys head into the playoff game they will keep in mind they start over on a clean slate, but also the weaknesses and strengths they learned from their win.
Wolves Head Coach Kurt Richardson was impressed with his offensive line after Friday’s game.
‘They did a great job,? he smiled. ‘They took over. They controlled. We talked about having to win the war in the trenches – that was one of our goals.?
The Wolves didn’t score until the second quarter but it only took them five seconds to put the points on the board.
Scarlett held onto the ball for a keeper and ran down the middle for six yards. He added one more touchdown ten minutes later on a 1-yard run.
The boys closed the first half scoring one more after Dustin Gamble got a 12-yard pass from Scarlett in the endzone.
Lake Orion opened the second half with their first touchdown from Zach Zott.
The Dragons kept the Wolves from gaining ground in the next set of events and received possession of the ball again.
Not letting them get away with it – Gamble responded by intercepting the Dragons pass at the 22 yard line.
The Wolves took their places at line of scrimmage and Scarlett passed the ball to Bender.
He jumped and moved through defense and landed in the endzone.
Lake Orion scored one more this time from Daniel Ney. Scarlett and Bender added two more touchdowns to conclude the night.
‘Offense line controlled it,? said Richardson. ‘When we needed a first down, we got first downs. Those kids get no credit. They did an outstanding job.?
Leading up to the game the boys remained focused even though the team was sick throughout the week.
‘We had five to six guys out during practice,? said Scarlett.
Richardson said they kept telling the team they had to answer.
‘If they score, we have to answer,? said Richardson. ‘These kids did exactly what we asked them to do. We just wanted to win. Anytime you play an Orion team, it’s a great win because they are so well-coached and play so hard.?
Benway kicked 6-6 on PATs.
Scarlett finished with 158 yards rushing and three touchdowns on 21 carries, while Bender had 167 yards and two touchdowns on 26 carries.
Scarlett said the momentum from beating Lake Orion and winning the OAA Red championship will keep the boys going into this week’s district playoff game.
‘It feels really good to get a OAA championship,? he added. ‘It gets everyone thinking we can do this. Our momentum is to move forward. A state championship is what everyone wants.?
The boys host Lake Orion on Friday.
Kickoff is at 6:55 p.m.
* * *
JV won the OAA Red JV title after beating Lake Orion on Thursday, 28-13. They finished the season with a record 7-2.
The freshmen team lost their final game by three points, 30-27. The boys also finished the season 7-2.