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Dragons State Championship Season: A Recap



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December 08, 2010 - Oxford

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.

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," Dragon football head Coach Chris Bell 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."

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

Royal Oak

The Dragons 42-7 victory over Royal Oak gave the team a 5-0 record heading into homecoming.

"Everybody played well. Our kids did a great job on special teams in the kicking game. Offensively, we've got contributions from a ton of people, it wasn't just one guy," said Bell.

But the key to this season and any successful season, says the coach, is a solid defense.

"We get a lot of attention for our offense and the points we score, but the key to a great season is when you can play great defense," said Bell. "When we play great defense, it puts our offense in really good positions, and our defense has done that for us all year long."

Troy

Dragons bumped their record to 6-0 and clinched a playoff spot with a 45-0 homecoming victory over Troy.

"Homecoming is challenging with all the different events going on," said Bell. "We really put it on the kids to stay focused and they did a great job. Troy's a pretty good team, but everybody who stepped on the field contributed and did a great job of keeping the shut-out alive."

The coach said the locker-room atmosphere after the game was hard to describe.

"The team expects to be successful and expects to win, but they keep it in perspective. They knew they played well on offense, defense, special teams, and because they knew, there were a lot of smiles on those faces, and deservedly so," said Bell.

Troy Athens

Dragons came out on top against Troy Athens, 45-7.

"We got great contributions from everybody," said Bell, adding KJ Ester had a very good game, as did Demitri Hudson. Danny Ney suffered a slight injury so Bell sat him during the game.



Farmington Hills Harrison

Looking at the stat sheet, Farmington Hills Harrison and Lake Orion were fairly equal on rushing and passing yards. So what's with the losing 28-6 score?

"We got beat by a very good football team," Bell said simply, adding that the

Dragons just couldn't take advantage of scoring opportunities.

"Our defense really came around and put us in some good positions throughout the game, but it was our failure to convert when we were down deep," said Bell.

But the blemish in the Dragons record also gave the team a look at what areas need improving.

"It was good to play a team as good as Harrison. We saw a lot of things we needed to see. There were a lot of lessons but a lot of good points, too," Bell said.

Clarkston

The tables turned on the big, bad Wolves, Oct. 22 when the house came toppling down as Dragons took the win and the Oakland Activities Association Red Division title 28-7.

Bell applauded the Dragons line-backing core – Nick Frye, Alex Fine, Adam Gros and Jon Gall – for an outstanding game, as well as Marques Stevenson on offense. But he said he was especially proud of quarterback Sean Charettte.

"Sean played a very good football game. He struggled the week before so I was really proud of the way he came back. He managed the game very well," Bell said.

Davison

The 42-7 win over Davison put Lake Orion on a collision course with for the district championship.

"We did have a couple breakdowns on special teams that we did have to correct, but defensively, to hold that team to seven points, the kids did a great job," said Bell.

Dragon defense caused five turnovers, Steve Dolinski had one interception and Tyler Misiak had two, and their efforts put the offense in great position for the night's play. Offensively, the boys rolled up over 400 yards and put 42 points on the scoreboard. Bell said he had big performances from Sean Charette, Zach Zott, Demitri Hudson and Marques Stevenson.

Grand Blanc

A 54-14 win over Grand Blanc gave Lake Orion their fourth district championship in six years. 

Stevenson had 288 yards rushing, 15 carries and four touchdowns. He scored on runs of two yards, 74 yards, 80 yards and 58 yards. Charette was very efficient in the air, said his coach, noting the quarterback went six for eight, for 127 yards and two touchdowns: A 41-yard touchdown pass went to Danny Ney for a touchdown, and a 10-yard touchdown pass went to Zach Zott.

"Grand Blanc's game plan was to crowd the line of scrimmage and bring pressure, and our offensive line handled their fronts and gave Marques running lanes," said Bell. "A lot of credit goes to the offensive lines for creating those avenues."

Utica Eisenhower

Sean Charette left after injuring an ankle in the first quarter. Cole Schaenzer stepped in to finish the game, 17-10.

Senior Captains Tyler Misiak, Joey Kohler, Zach Zott and Blair Williams

Misiak said the game against Utica Eisenhower was good practice for the task ahead.

Kohler said Eisenhower had one of the and bring pressure, and our offensive line handled their fronts and gave Marques running lanes," said Bell. "A lot of credit goes to the offensive lines for creating those avenues."

Utica Eisenhower

Sean Charette left after injuring an ankle in the first quarter. Cole Schaenzer stepped in to finish the game, 17-10.

Senior Captains Tyler Misiak, Joey Kohler, Zach Zott and Blair Williams

said the game against Utica Eisenhower was good practice for the task ahead.

Kohler said Eisenhower had one of the best defensive lines Lake Orion has played this year.

"They were fast and strong, but we took advantage of what they gave us," he said.

Williams added that the close game gave the team some opportunities to learn and build.

Cass Tech

An explosion of green and white erupted from stands the as the final 30 seconds of the Division 1 football state semi-finals ticked off the clock.

Lake Orion was up a scant three points over Cass Tech, 24-21, with the Technicians poised to make a final touchdown and take the game when junior ironman Andrew Shafkalis ruined everything. Well, ruined everything for Cass Tech.

Shafkalis forced a fumble, allowing senior Tyler Misiak to recover the ball after a mad scramble by both teams to pounce on the ball. The entire stadium held its collective breath until Misiak came up with it.

Thirty-two seconds remained when the Dragons secured their lead and the spot at Ford Field Nov. 27.

Plymouth

It was the stuff dreams are made of. It wasn't for the team, or for the high school. It wasn't even for Lake Orion Community Schools.

When the clock ticked down and the Dragons officially became the best Division I football team in the state, it was a win for Lake Orion, said Head Coach Chris Bell.

"We're so excited to bring the championship back to Lake Orion. It's a very humbling experience to see the support and the enthusiasm of the community. We can't thank people enough. The players, the coaches – we understand how special this is because of our community," Bell said.

And with the power of a community behind them, the Dragons took control of the Division 1 state championship game at Ford Field right from kickoff and never looked back.

-Compiled by Laura Colvin

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