Missed opportunities doom Lake Orion against Harrison
October 19, 2011 - By Joe St. Henry
Big players made big plays for Farmington Harrison last Friday night.
Lake Orion, meanwhile, squandered a number of scoring chances and the Dragons lost to the Hawks, 28-7.
"Against a good team like Harrison, you have to make plays and we didn't," said Head Coach Chris Bell.
The opening drives for both teams set the tone for the matchup of two defending state champions (Lake Orion Div. 1 and Harrison Div. 2).
The Hawks took the opening kickoff and grabbed the lead 44 seconds into the game on three plays, capped by a 27-yard touchdown run. Lake Orion moved down the field on its first drive, as well, but turned the ball over on downs inside the Harrison ten-yard line.
Harrison's quick-strike capability struck again on its second series with a 53-yard touchdown pass. The visitors made it 21-0 with ten minutes left in the second quarter, when the Hawks' quarterback eluded the grasp of Lake Orion defenders and tossed his second touchdown of the game.
"We were horrible early on defense," Bell said. "We did a poor job of tackling."
With halftime approaching, the Dragons moved the ball on Harrison's defense but again failed to score inside the 10-yard line. Bell said given the Hawks' ability to score touchdowns quickly, the coaches felt they had no choice but to go for seven points versus a field goal during the first half drives.
Lake Orion finally got on the board in the third quarter. The Dragons took their opening drive down the field and scored on senior quarterback Sean Charette's 24-yard touchdown pass to senior wideout Robert Aiello.
The Dragons' defense tightened further during the third quarter. The offense, meanwhile, continued to move the ball on the ground and air, aided by several penalties on Harrison's defense. Unfortunately, the drives stalled. A Lake Orion touchdown pass also was called back by penalty in the fourth quarter. Harrison scored late in the game on a long run to put the contest out of reach.
Junior running back Jacob Miller finished the game with 70 yards rushing. Senior quarterback Sean Charette went 20-36 for 240 yards and one touchdown. Aiello had six catches for more than 100 yards and Jeremy King finished with nine receptions for 80 yards. The team had 325 yards in total offense.
"There's no feeling good about just being competitive in a game," Bell said. "You either win or you don't and we didn't make the plays needed to beat a team like Harrison."
The annual season-ending rivalry game against Clarkston take place this Friday on the Wolves' home field. Clarkston lost last week to Oxford, 42-35, to drop their record to 5-3. The Wolves need a win to assure themselves a spot in the state playoffs.
Bell said Clarkston is talented, with a very good quarterback and a "little bigger" offensive line than Lake Orion's. The Wolves also have an experienced defense, led by their linebackers, he said. Still, the head coach thinks these are two evenly matched teams.
"The biggest difference is that Clarkston is in survival mode," Bell said. "They are desperate for a win and we must match their intensity. I hope we play with a chip-on-our-shoulder after missing our opportunity against Harrison.
"Every week is a learning process, especially when you have a young team like ours. We learned some lessons against Harrison. We'll see how they respond this week."