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Wolves back on track with win



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Mike Schwartz catches a touchdown pass from Mitch Baenziger. Photo by Larry Wright (click for larger version)
September 14, 2011 - It's official.

Though Clarkston has yet to lose a game on the field in three matchups, the Wolves have their first win, a 40-20 rout over Troy Athens.

Junior linebacker Chris Calvano scooped up the loose football after the Wolves blocked Troy-Athens field goal attempt on their first possession.

He took off running and scored the first touchdown for the Wolves 1:17 into the game.

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"He was outstanding," smiled Kurt Richardson, head coach for the Clarkston High School Boys Varsity Football team. "He had a great first half. He was playing some football. He is a tough kid."

Clarkston would continue to control the scoreboard in their home opener to win, 40-20.

"It was a nice win," said Richardson, referring to the boys drive to keep the Red Hawks to zero in the first three quarters. "We played good defense. They had the ball deep in our field. In the first quarter they must have been 4-to-1 for every play we ran."

The next score came from senior quarterback Mitch Baenziger. He broke through a two man defense block from Athens and ran 14-yard into the endfield with 9:40 left in the first half.

Baenziger struck again with six minutes left, this time connecting a 32-yard pass to senior widereceiver Mike Schwartz. He caught it in the end zone.

Baenziger ran the ball into the endzone for a two-point conversion and it secured the boys win as they went into halftime with the score, 20-0.

Two more touchdowns were made before the Wolves changed their game plan. The first made in the third quarter, this time off a 4-yard pass from Baenziger to Schwartz.

The second touchdown was made by senior widereceiver Travis Smith orr a 15-yard touchdown pass from Baenziger, finishing a 70-yard drive with 9:33 left in the game.

The coaching staff sent out fresh faces onto the field, putting out players on the second string, as the boys held a 33-0 lead.

"They played really well," said Richardson. "They are starting to step it up. We had a lot of kids out there. We let everybody play. They are at practice everyday, too."

He added it gives them opportunities to not only gain experience against tough teams - which will help the boys this week when they head to Troy. It also gives them a chance to learn lessons.

The lessons came quick as Troy Athens made two touchdowns within a span of four minutes from Jake Spinek and a 77-yard run from Sam Haskell, with 1:53 to go.

The Wolves answered and the offensive line held onto position for the next minute.

Senior running back Shavanta Brown added one more to the board for Clarkston, running the ball 7-yards to the end zone with 26.4 seconds to go.

With control of the ball, the Red Hawks went for one more play as the clock counted down and made it count. Joe Shields ran 55-yards as the time left went to zero and finished with a touchdown, putting the score 40-20.

Senior Alex Barta scored on two of his three point after touchdown attempts.

The boys head to Troy, 2-1, an OAA Red match up. The Colts are coming off a 31-10 victory, their second consecutive win.

"They will play us tough," said Richardson. "They are a good football team. Coach Gary Griffith is a good friend so it is always fun playing them."

The Wolves will have more intensity and more motivation going into the game after learning they had to forfeit the first two games of the season due to an academically ineligible player participating in those games. It put their 3-0 record down to 1-2 and 1-1 in the OAA Red.

Kick off is at 7 p.m. Troy High School is located at 4777 Northfield Parkway.

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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