BY WENDI REARDON PRICE
Clarkston News Sports Writer
The Lakers stepped onto Clarkston’s field last Friday ready for a rematch.
The last time they faced the Wolves was for the 2017 state championship, which they lost, 3-2. Clarkston prevailed again as they defended their home with a 28-25 win.
“What a great high school football game,” smiled Kurt Richardson, long-time head coach for the Wolves. “Just back and forth. Two teams playing their butts off. It makes it better because we won.”
“It’s probably one of our biggest wins,” added junior cornerback Zach Reid. “It was a great feeling. We prepared really well. All week we were focused and mentally strong. We all watched a ton of film.”
The Wolves opened the scoring with a 17-yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback Jake Jensen to senior Josh Luther, 94 seconds into the second quarter. A PAT from senior Tristan Mattson put the boys at 7-0.
West Bloomfield tied the score two minutes later with a 50-yard touchdown run from Donovan Edwards.
Clarkston started possession on the 49-yard line in their territory. They reached the endzone with less than eight minutes remaining in the second half on a 17-yard touchdown run by senior Jake Billette, 14-7.
Before the half ended, the Lakers scored a field goal to close the gap, 14-10. They took control of the scoreboard with a touchdown five minutes into the second half by Christopher Harris.
West Bloomfield tried to score again with a minute left in the third quarter. Their pass was unsuccessful for them as Reid intercepted the pass and went on a 75-yard touchdown run to bring the Wolves into the lead with 46.2 left in the quarter.
“It was great,” Reid smiled. “It was a great feeling. I have watched that play about eight time on film so I knew it was coming. He looked over to coach and I read it well.”
“It was a huge pick,” said Richardson. “Zach is a kid who is almost always there. We say make plays, make plays and he finally made a play – that will get him over the hump as a player.”
Billette made the Wolves’ final score of the night with a 50-yard touchdown yard with 6:36 remaining in the game.
The Lakers scored on a touchdown and 2-point conversion two minutes later, 28-25. They tried to score again taking possession of the ball with 1:57 left in the game, but each of their passes went incomplete, turning the ball back to Clarkston.
Jensen went 6-for-8 in passing for 63 yards. The leader rushers were Billette with 110 yards on 16 carries with two touchdowns and Jacob Honstetter with 44 yards on 17 carries.
“Billette is nothing but tough,” Richardson said. “He is a wrestler. He is tougher than nails. Him and Honstetter are a great one-two combination.”
Mattson went 4-for-4 on PAT attempts.
For defense, Brendan Barker had seven tackles and three assists and Luther had seven tackles and one assist.
Rocco Spindler had five tackles with one tackle for a 1-yard loss, three assists and a blocked pass. Garrett Dellinger had five tackles with two of them with loss of yards, three assists and two blocked passes.
“Those two are big time players,” Richardson said about Spindler and Dellinger on defense and offense. “That’s who we build it around.
Max Nicklin had five tackles, one with a 3-yard loss and three assists. Reid had three tackles, two assists and one interception.
“We were dialing up everything we could,” Richardson said. “They are skilled kids. We had do everything we could. We had to start double teaming Tre Mosley. Our kids rose up and did a nice job in the end.”
The Wolves (2-0, 1-0 OAA Red) head to Troy (1-1) on Friday in an OAA crossover game. Kick off is at 7 p.m. at 4777 Northfield Parkway, Troy.