October 30, 2013 - Southfield gave it one last attempt on their fourth down on the 20-yard line in their zone with ten yards to go.
Ian Eriksen keeps Southfield at a distance. Photo by Larry Wright (click for larger version)
Instead of punting the ball they passed it and Clarkston senior defensive back Jacob Armstrong was ready. With three minutes left in the game, he knocked down the pass.
"I was psyched," he smiled after the Wolves beat Southfield in a OAA crossover game last Friday, 20-10.
"Honestly I thought it was a third down," Armstrong continued. "I was pumped. I knew how much it would be to get a stop down there to get the ball on the 20-yard line and give our offense a pretty good position to score again or at least run some time off the clock."
Clarkston got within half a yard of the end zone before they let the clock run with 21 seconds left on the clock - smiling and cheering after beating the league champs of the OAA White
"Defensively we came up for the challenge," said Kurt Richardson, longtime head coach for the Wolves. "It was a little bit costly but it was a good win. Our guys rose to the challenge. They got tired about hearing all about Southfield's defense."
The Wolves opened the scoring four minutes into the game with a 34-yard field goal from Shane Hynes.
Clarkston gained the ball again with 7:15 left in the first quarter on the 46-yard line. By 5:34 on the clock, senior running back Ian Eriksen scored on a 1-yard touchdown after getting the handoff from junior quarterback DJ Zezula.
Eriksen scored again 57 seconds into the second quarter on another 1-yard run.
Hynes struck again with 5:14 left in the third quarter on a 40-yard field goal, putting the score 20-0.
The Bluejays didn't score on Clarkston until the final quarter, opening with a 37-yard field goal from Anthony Spencer.
They scored again with 5:30 left in the game on a 45-yard touchdown run by Jacob Studdard.
"We just played solid defense," Richardson added. "We didn't do anything special that we haven't done in the past. Armstrong made a couple of huge plays. There were two pass breakups – both were his. It was awesome."
"We knew they had some studs out there," Armstrong added. "We knew they had some kids that could run with some speed. We knew if we could keep up with them we could handle them."
Zezula was 10-for-15 in passing for 110 yards. The leading receivers were senior wide receiver Caine Watlington with four catches for 50 yards and junior wide receiver Shane Holler with three catches for 38 yards.
Eriksen was the leading rusher with 38 carries for 137 yards. Hynes had two field goals and two PATs.
Senior defensiveback Reid Kaminski led the defense with six tackles and three assists. Senior outside linebacker Blake Rehahn had four tackles and four assists.
"Our defense we played pretty solid," Armstrong said. "We would like to put a goose egg up on the board but we played pretty solid for the type of team they have."
He added they knew it would be tough defending
The Wolves' win puts their record to 8-1 as they head into the MHSAA Pre-District game against Oxford this Friday.
Armstrong added defense will focus on continuing to get better this week.
"We just have to keep getting better," he said. "If we improve not a lot of teams can get to us."
The game is at Clarkston High School, 6093 Flemings Lake Road, 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.