August 29, 2012 - Junior runningback Ian Eriksen picked up speed as the Wolves' offensive line blocked defenders from Rochester Adams from stopping him as he made 99-yard kickoff return 13 seconds into the home opener on Friday.
Senior linebacker Adam Myers grabs a hold of the Rochester Adams ball carrier in the Wolves' season opener. Photo by Larry Wright (click for larger version)
"In my head I was thinking run," Eriksen said after Clarkston defeated the Highlanders, 42-28. "Just going to run with it. The guys did a great job blocking."
"It was awesome," said Kurt Richardson, head coach for the Wolves Varsity Football team. "I don't think people had sat down yet."
It wouldn't be the first time Eriksen would score as he tallied six touchdowns during the game off his 27 carries for 242 yards.
"I just kept running hard," he said. "They kept giving me the ball so I just kept running."
"He is a great example of why kids should run track," said Richardson. "He got faster because he ran track. He worked hard and got that extra step. He didn't get caught from behind. It is a great example of why kids should play every sport they can."
The Highlanders were able to get their revenge when C.J. Borglin intercepted DJ Zezula's throw with 8:42 left in the first quarter. A PAT from Britton Skinner put Adams ahead 7-6.
It would be the last time they would be ahead as the Wolves struck again before the first quarter closed.
Zezula handed the ball off to Eriksen. Eriksen took off for his 59-yard run into the endzone. He capped it off with a 2-point conversion to put the team up to 14-7.
Senior linebacker Adam Johns recovered a fumble by the Highlanders with 8:38 to go in the first half on the 22-yard line in Adams' territory.
The Wolves scored in their first play of possession. Eriksen took the handoff and stepped to the left as he headed towards the endzone, scoring for the Wolves.
Johns recovered a loose ball again at the beginning of the second half leading to Eriksen's fourth touchdown.
"We are telling the kids all the time with turnovers we have to take advantage," Richardson added. "Johns played pretty well."
Eriksen said it was his first time playing a full varsity game after being moved up from the JV team at the end of last fall. He added he followed the offensive line's cue.
"They are experienced," he said. "I am fortunate to have them block me. The whole offensive line - Jesse Chadwell, Nick Azzopardi, Eric Eberole, Craig Colombo, Nick Matich - all of those guys did a great job.They were blasting holes all night."
"They are all experienced and big guys," Richardson added. "That's our strength and we are going to run the ball behind them."
Junior runningback Caine Watlington also made his impact in the home opener with 109 rushing yards on seven carries.
"We had a nice running game," Richardson added. "We need to improve on the passing game, but we will be alright."
The passes for the Wolves were incomplete during the game.
"It is there for us," Eriksen said. "We just have to perfect some things and just continue to work hard. We are going to be okay."
Shane Hynes scored three out of four of his PAT attempts. Leading defense were seniors Chris Calvano, Dylan Hancook and Nathan Yeloushan and junior Tim Cason had two interceptions.
The boys host West Bloomfield this Friday in their first OAA Red battle. Both teams go in with a 1-0 record after the Lakers beat Jackson, 42-7. Kickoff is at 7 p.m. at Clarkston High School stadium. Also, winning their season openers against Adams - Freshman, 45-14 and JV, 36-22.
Wendi graduated from the University of Michigan-Flint with a degree in communications. She wrote for the Michigan Times college paper and Grand Blanc View before joining The Clarkston News in October 2007.