September 12, 2012 - The Wolves bumped themselves from fourth spot to second in the OAA Red after their 24-0 win over Rochester last Friday.
Shane Hynes attempts a 53-yard field goal as quarterback D.J. Zezula holds onto the football. Photo by Larry Wright (click for larger version)
"We started out pretty slow," said senior Jared Yaroch.
Both teams remained scoreless in the first quarter until junior running back Ian Eriksen scored on a 3-yard run for a touchdown with 1:13 remaining.
The ball was fumbled during the PAT attempt. Sophomore quarterback D.J. Zezula regained possession and threw it into the endzone. The pass went incomplete, and the Wolves held onto their 6-0 lead.
Clarkston and Rochester continued the battle going into the second quarter, but the scoreboard remained unchanged as they headed into halftime.
"We didn't make any huge adjustments other than let's execute better," said Clarkston Varsity Boys Football Head Coach Kurt Richardson. "We felt like we could handle them defensively."
The Wolves were at their fourth down with 15 yards to go after three unsuccessful throws in the third quarter.
Junior kicker Shane Hynes stepped onto the field as the boys set themselves up on the line of scrimmage. The time slowed down as the ball went back to sophomore quarterback D.J. Zezula to put into position for Hynes. Hynes swung back his right leg.
The audience burst into cheers as his 53-yard fieldgoal attempt made it and put Clarkston 9-0 with 6:51 to go.
"We turned the game around with Shane's kick," said Yaroch.
"It was a game changer," Richardson smiled. "It's got to be a school record. It was big."
Hynes' kick is in ranks of the MHSAA longest yards records. The records begin with 52 yards and up to a 59-yard fieldgoal made in 1994 by Doug Kochanski.
Clarkston's defense was able to hold the Falcons back as Rochester took possession. Linebackers senior Nathan Yeloushan and junior Nick Matich as well as a incomplete pass forced the Falcons to punt the ball.
Yaroch caught the ball and made a 40-yard punt return, putting the Wolves at the 6- yard line.
Two plays later Eriksen cut through the pile of offensive and defensive players on his 2-yard run, with 4:40 remaining in the quarter.
Eriksen scored again six seconds into the final quarter on 13-yard run. Yeloushan scored on a 2-point conversion on a pass from Zezula.
"Jared had a great game," Richardson added. "Our defense stepped up."
He added the boys made too many mistakes especially while rushing the ball.
"They can't drive and jump," he said. "We must have had six jumps. We have to move past it. I am going to run them."
The Wolves (3-0, 2-0 OAA Red) head to Troy Athens (0-3, 0-2) this week for another league battle, 7 p.m.
"We just do the same we have been doing," Yaroch said, "Hopefully we get better."
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.