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Home opener at Homecoming

Caine Watlington sneaks through defense. Photo by Wendi Reardon (click for larger version)
September 18, 2013 - Our gridiron heroes are preparing for a big week after their 34-13 win over Rochester last Friday.

This week the Wolves are coming back to Clarkston High School stadium for their home opener and Homecoming game.

"It will be a really exciting game for all of us," said junior Jack McKillop about his first home game on the varsity team. "It will be pretty fun and all of our friends and family will be out."

Junior Shane Holler agreed and added, "it will be a lot more intense and a have a lot more hype."

Both scored touchdowns against Rochester off passes from junior quarterback DJ Zezula.

McKillop opened the game scoring on 21-yard pass from Zezula less than two minutes into the game.

"I knew if we were hitting the seam early in the game I knew I would be open," he said. "I knew and made the play."

Holler was next to put six points on the scoreboard when he caught a 9-yard pass from Zezula in the endzone with 7:16 left in the first half.

"I was on the wide side of the field and there is a lot of room for a slant," Holler added. "We played to execution and we scored."

Senior Caine Watlington closed the first half scoring on a 1-yard touchdown with 1:57 left on the clock. With three successful PATs from senior Shane Hynes, the Wolves left the field at half time ahead 21-0.

"We came out well," said Holler. "We started out on offense very well. We stopped them on defense. We have to clean up on some of the mistakes we did have."

McKillop added they did well especially with injuries, especially with leading rusher Ian Eriksen out for the game.

"We had a great weekend in practice and everyone came out, executed their job and everyone was hungry," he said.

Rochester scored with 5:44 left in the third quarter but it didn't slow down the Wolves as they scored just over a minute later on a 32-yard touchdown pass from Zezula to Watlington.

Thirteen seconds into the last quarter Hynes attempted a 44-yard field goal but missed.

It wouldn't be long until Clarkston had possession of the ball again as senior Tim Cason intercepted a pass and turned on his heels into Rochester's endzone. He ran 25 yards on the interception return with 11:39 left in the game.

Zezula was 12-for-17 in passing for 193 yards and three touchdowns.

Junior Centrus Williams, Jr. rushed on ten carries for 46 yards and Watlington rushed on seven carries for 35 yards. Hynes was 4-for-5 for PATs and missed a 44-yard field goal.

Leading tacklers included junior D.J. Rogers with five tackles and assists; senior Blake Rehahn four tackles and two assists and one tackle with a loss of two yards; junior Adam Matich had three tackles and blocked an extra point attempt.

Kurt Richardson, head coach, addressed the boys after the game and let them know they made strides during the week and it showed on the field.

McKillop agreed they did and practice leading up to the Rochester game was different.

"We did more passing," he said. "It was more up tempo practice, to get back in shape and get ready for the kind of opponents we will be facing in the future.

He added to keep the momentum going into this week against Troy Athens and weeks to come defense needs to keep doing what they are doing and bringing up the intensity each time.

"We have been hitting well the last couple of weeks and we just need all of our leadership to come together on defense," McKillop said.

Holler added they also need to focus on staying humble.

"We need to keep the intensity up," he agreed. "Don't get ahead of ourselves."

He pointed out the motivation the last few weeks has been the Rochester Adams game - the season opener which the Wolves lost.

"It really opened up our eyes to take no one for granted," Holler said. "To play 100 percent of the game.

The boys host Troy Athens. They had a 23-12 win over Pontiac last week giving them their first win of the season and 1-1 in the OAA Red.

"It will be fun to go out there and compete in front of all of our friends and fans," McKillop said.

Kickoff is 7 p.m., 6093 Flemings Lake Road.

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.
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