October 24, 2012 - Clarkston's gridiron heroes were back to work on Monday after wrapping up their regular season with a win last Friday over Oak Park, 41-20 win.
Ian Eriksen sneaks up the middle as Eric Eberle, left, and Nick Azzopardi, right, hold off Oak Park's defense. Photo by Larry Wright (click for larger version)
The Wolves spent their first practice of the week preparing for their oppentent in the opening round of playoffs. The locals will host the Davison Cardinals (6-3) this Friday.
Long-time head coach for Clarkston Kurt Richardson offered a peek at what they expect from this Friday's game.
"They are primarily a running team," he said about Davison. "They run the ball a lot. We can handle them up front."
He added the Wolves' will have to control the line of scrimmage and some of their strengths going in are their running game and defense.
Offensive coordinator Tony Miller agreed, adding Clarkston's size will help going into the game.
"Our speed will also be a factor," Miller added. "Davison is a very good football team from what I have seen. They run a lot of different formations and could cause problems. But that's why we practice the week prior."
Coaches think an "x" factor for Clarkston is the team's desire for success.
"When we started this season we didn't want another great Clarkston football team," said Miller. "We want to win a state championship. We need to get over that hump."
Last Friday, Clarkston headed to Oak Park in their OAA crossover game.
Junior runningback Ian Eriksen led the team by scoring four touchdowns on 40-yard, 55-yard, 5-yard, and 6-yard run. He carried the ball 36 times for his season high of 292 yards, putting him at over 1,700 yards so far this season.
"Ian was good," Richardson said. "Our quarterback D.J. Zezula was good. He hit the passes he needed to hit. The whole offensive line was good. They dominated. I thought it was their best game."
Senior Chris Calvano got the game going for the Wolves as the first to score on his 24-yard touchdown run in the first quarter. The score was 34-6 going into half time.
"We played a great first half and a sloppy second half," said Richardson. "We lost a little bit of focus because of the score."
For defense, juniors David Beedle and Reid Kaminski. Beedle with nine tackles and Kaminski with five.
"They had outstanding games," Miller added. "We did a lot of blitzing to slow down some of their speed, and it paid off for us."
"Everything is coming together," Richardson said. "We are starting to gel a little bit. We are starting to peak at the right time. We are not there yet but we don't want to be."
Kickoff is at 7 p.m., at Clarkston High School stadium.
The JV and freshman teams finished their season undefeated.
It marks the first time in Clarkston history all three teams are 9-0.
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.