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Dragons prep for the wolfpack



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Denied! Junior Christian James stiff-arms a Pontiac defender. Photo by D. Shriner (click for larger version)
October 10, 2012 - There was no chance that Lake Orion Coach Chris Bell was going to let his squad overlook Pontiac last week.

The Dragons came out spittin' fire at the Phoenix and rolled to an easy 49-13 victory to remain undefeated and set up the showdown in LO Town on Friday against Clarkston.

The victory improved the Dragons to 7-0 overall and 6-0 in the OAA Red Division. Clarkston is also undefeated and is ranked number one in Division I while Lake Orion is number two.

For Coach Bell, records and rankings mean nothing when Lake Orion and Clarkston play.

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"Whenever Lake Orion and Clarkston play, you can throw it all out. It's going to be a great football game. It's a great rivalry and something both teams look forward to," Bell said.

Obviously, there is a lot riding on the game and it has nothing to do with state rankings.

"Next week is the league championship and for home field advantage in the playoff," he said. "In terms of ranking, it doesn't mean anything. We are probably both ranked too high because our league isn't as strong as it has been in past years."

Bell said he wanted his team to use the Pontiac contest as a warm-up and to learn how to adjust to changes within a game. Even though the Dragons committed four turnovers against the Phoenix, Bell was not concerned.

"I thought we did well offensively. We came out throwing the ball well," Bell said. "We made a couple of mistakes but our quarterback corrected them as the game went on. It is a learning process and we just came off a big game last week with an emotional homecoming win. Every week we want to get better and we played Pontiac as we expected."

The Dragons showed a solid passing game mixed with 313 yards rushing.

Quarterback Derek Delaura threw for 137 yards on 4-for-6 accuracy and two touchdowns. Chaz Miller grabbed two passes for 73 yards, including a 45-yard touchdown. Zach Arnold also had a 41-yard TD catch.

The Dragons were relentless on the ground, rolling to 21 points in both the first and second quarters to hold a 42-0 advantage at halftime. A bevy of 10 Lake Orion runners averaged seven yards per carry.

On defense, Nick Booker and Alex Plourde each had an interception for the Dragons.

Jacob Miller and Christopher Leigh each ran for two touchdowns while Cory Elster had another. Leigh ran for 98 yards, Miller for 78 and Dominick Giovinazzo added 80 yards.

There was no chance of any Phoenix rising from the ashes of a 42-0 halftime hole, despite Pontiac scoring twice in the second half.

By that time Bell saw what he needed from his starters and they were used sparingly in the final two quarters.

Former Leader Editor Dan Shriner will cover Wildcat football this season.
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