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Dragons crush Oxford, 45-6

Bell celebrates 100th career win

September 01, 2010 - The Oxford Wildcats definitely have something to brag about. Two weeks ago, they won the eating contest against Lake Orion athletes.

But that's about all they have to brag about after the football game, Friday, Aug. 27.

Marques Stevenson looks for daylight. Photo by Laura Colvin (click for larger version)
In the first Lake Orion-Oxford football faceoff since 1983, Dragons took back the "Double-O" trophy from Oxford, scorching their competitors with a 45-6 win.

The game was a proper tribute to Head Coach Chris Bell's 100th career victory, said LO Athletic Director Bill Reiss.

"I'm very proud of our players. Going into the first game there's a lot of unanswered questions and the way the kids played we were pleasantly surprised," said Bell.

Going into what they knew would be a big game with a big crowd, the team was a little nervous.

"But, ultimately the kids fed off the atmosphere; it inspired them," he said. "One of our mottos is, 'Win for Lake Orion,' and I don't think there's ever been another regular season game like this one in terms of winning it for Lake Orion. The players and the coaches – everybody really appreciated the fans' support and the number of people that came out. It just shows the passion that the community has for our students."

Bell's highlight of the game? Winning, he joked.

"Truly, my favorite part was seeing our players make plays on both sides of the ball – including some young guys – and just dominating the game," said Bell.

Those same elements, he says, the team hopes to bring to their next game at Rochester, this Friday. Bell says he's expecting a "very improved Rochester team."

"They struggled in years past and this is one of their better teams," he said. "They're coming off a win and playing with a lot of confidence. It's going to be their first home game so they're going to be excited. We're walking into a tough football game… I would be surprised if it was a blow-out like last week."

Though he can't predict the outcome for Friday, Bell says his strategy for the next game, and the rest of the season, is to take it one game at a time.

"We just have to put last week behind us and recognize that, as big as it was, it was just one football game. In this league you better be able to play every single week. That's our focus," he said. "As a football team goes, it's still early in the season and our kids our learning. It's about taking the next step as a team."

As for last Friday's game, readers who were at the field cheering on the Dragons were among an estimated 8,000 other Lake Orion and Oxford fans.

High school officials say they don't have an exact count on attendees, but Reiss says ticket sales brought in about $30,000.

To put that in prospective, he says a "great" season might net $90,000, and an average season, like last year, takes in around $70,000.

Both sets of stands were full, tallying about 6,000 fans, plus another 1,000 more in stands brought in from the baseball fields, in addition to fans standing two and three people deep around the field.

Reiss said tailgaters started showing up at the high school around noon on Friday.

"It was like nothing I've seen before. We have homecoming and we play Clarkston regularly; there was a lot of pent up excitement for this. It was like a college atmosphere," he said, noting it was good to get the Double-O trophy back. "I don't think our own kids knew the magnitude of this game. They had to hear it from the alumni and past coaches, and it started to grow on them as the week went on, and the crowd certainly validated that."

Reporter, Lake Orion Review
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