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Wolves fall at districts

Adam Johns and Matt Dellinger lead the defensive line as they put a stop to Walled Lake Central's Drew Clayborn in last Friday's MHSAA District game. Photo by Larry Wright (click for larger version)
November 09, 2011 - The gridiron gang gathered as the seniors hugged their coaches and teammates before leaving the field for the last time.

Clarkston's last home game for the season ended with a loss to Walled Lake Central 45-26 for the MHSAA District crown.

"You never want the season to end this way," said Wolves Boys Varsity Football Coach Kurt Richardson. "We thought we could make a longer run but it is what it is."

The Vikings scored on their first possession on a touchdown made by K.J. Schultz six minutes into the game. They built a 21-0 lead with 4:45 to go in the first half of the game.

Senior running back Joey Goss caught their kickoff and ran 36 yards before he was stopped at the 43-yard line. Senior quarterback Mitch Baenziger led the boys into Walled Lakes Central's turf as his run was stopped on the 46-yard line.

His handoff to Goss in the next play put the boys four yards closer to the endzone. For Baenziger's next move he connected a 31-yard pass to senior widereceiver Mike Schwartz.

Schwartz kept running with a defense player on his heels as he stepped into the endzone with 3:31 to go in the half, putting the score 21-6 after the PAT was missed.

The Vikings closed the half with a 35-yard field goal made by Bryan Maxwell, 24-6.

"We just couldn't get any flow going," said Richardson. "Walled Lake didn't make any mistakes. They didn't turn the ball over. They outplayed us."

Baenziger and Schwartz teamed up again in the third quarter when Schwartz caught a 80-yard touchdown pass from Baenziger 8 seconds into the second half.

Clarkston struck two more times in the final quarter. Baenziger made a 24-yard run up the middle of the field and into the endzone with 7:16 left to go. A failed two-point conversion put the boys, 35-18.

The Wolves ended the game with one more touchdown with 1:45 remaining. Baenziger threw a 23-yard pass to Goss in the endzone. The boys scored on a two-point conversion made by senior C.J. Gozdor off a pass from Baenziger.

"It wasn't a matter of being surprised," said Richardson. "They kicked our butts every way possible. They were just more physical than us. Their quarterback it outstanding. Their offensive line is very good. They got off the ball and they gave us fits. Those kids deserve a lot of credit."

Clarkston finished the season 7-4 and 6-1 in the OAA Red, sharing the league title with Lake Orion.

Walled Lake Central continues against Utica Eisenhower for the MHSAA Regional title.

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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