October 09, 2013 - The gridiron heroes are gearing up this week to continue their control on the OAA Red and clinch their playoff spot.
Reid Kaminski latches onto Pontiac's runningback. Photo by Larry Wright (click for larger version)
The boys head to Troy (2-4, 2-3 OAA Red) and Kurt Richardson, Clarkston Varsity Football head coach, isn't taking the numbers in their record lightly.
"I think they are a lot better than their record is," he said. "They are well-coached. Coach Gary Griffin does a great job with them. They played Lake Orion tough for three quarters. Troy will throw long so our defensive tackles will have to be pretty good this week. "
He pointed out the Colts have been struggling with players injured and losing their quarterback. But the Wolves will have to rely on their own strengths to get their sixth win and playoff spot.
"The fact is we are balanced," Richardson said about Clarkston's strengths going into this Friday. "We can run and throw. Those are probably our biggest strengths right now."
The boys proved it last Friday with a 41-14 win over Pontiac.
They opened the game with a 24-yard touchdown run by quarterback DJ Zezula and a 33-yard touchdown pass from Zezula to wide receiver Caine Watlington in the first quarter.
Both struck again in the next quarter beginning with a 10-yard touchdown run made by Watlington and a 6-yard touchdown run by Zezula, ending the half at 28-0.
Zezula was 12-for-14 in passing for the night for 212 yards with two touchdown passes. The second went to wide receiver Tim Cason on a 52-yard touchdown pass to open the third quarter.
The leading receiver was runningback Joe Popp with three passes for 89 yards. He also had three tackles in the game.
"Popp had an outstanding game," said Richardson. "It was nice to finally have him healthy. He has been hurt a lot so hasn't gotten a lot of time. But now that he is healthy he will get a lot more time."
The leading rusher was Centrus Williams, Jr. for 60 yards on seven carries. Zezula had 55 yards on three carries.
Kicker Shane Hynes was 3-for-3 on PATs. He scored on two field goals for the night on a 36-yard kick and a 40-yard kick. He also had a 81-yard punt - the fourth longest in MHSAA history.
"He had a great game and a nice long punt," Richardson added. "It was a nice game. Everybody got to play that was a highlight."
Leading the defense against Pontiac was Kas Waitkus and Ross Manssur with four tackles. Alex Peck and Merrick Canada had three tackles.
"We were a little soft in the middle," Richardson added. "They moved the ball on us a few times which I didn't care for. We will have to continue to run between tackles better."
Troy High School is located at 4777 Northfield Parkway. Kickoff is at 7 p.m.
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.