Source: Sherman Publications

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Dragons rout Pontiac
Fumble return for TD sparks Lake Orion domination

September 14, 2011

Senior Robert Aiello catches a long pass in the third quarter of Friday’s win. Photo by G. Ouzounian
By Gabriel Ouzounian

Review Staff Writer

A heads-up play by senior defensive back Jacob Gardner spurred Lake Orion's rout of Pontiac last Friday, 40-12.

With the Dragons leading only 7-0 in the second quarter, Gardner scooped up a lateral pass that was deflected and lay on the ground, running 51 yards for a defensive touchdown, shocking both teams.

The play came minutes after senior Sean Charette threw a 33-yard touchdown pass to sophomore Corey Ester.

After the fumble return, Lake Orion continued to stymie Pontiac's offense. On the first play of scrimmage in the next series, the Dragons recovered a fumble and nearly scored another quick touchdown, were it not for an interception near the goal line.

Lake Orion would make the game 20-0 in the third quarter on a two-yard touchdown run by junior Jacob Miller (79 yards). Later in the quarter, Pontiac's senior running back Kezlow Smith made an electrifying 69-yard run through several Dragons to put Pontiac on the board.

The Dragons responded, however, when Charette threw a 35-yard sideline pass to senior wide receiver Robert Aiello, and then ran it in himself from one yard out for the team's fourth touchdown of the game.

In the fourth quarter, senior Michael Upshaw scored another short one-yard touchdown and Lake Orion's defense finished the scoring when lineman Jacob Tepeau intercepted a Pontiac pass and rambled 11 yards into the endzone.

Head Coach Chris Bell was pleased with a defense he said is continuing to improve, but remarked that the offense needed a little work.

"We did what we had to offensively, but the penalties are something we continue to work on cutting down," said Bell.

"Our defense played outstanding," he added. "We held Pontiac back the way we did, even without senior linebacker John Gall. Seniors Andrew Shafkalis and junior Derric Williams played excellent."

Bell noted his team scored twice on defense and, he said, when you do that a football team usually is successful.

Charette finished with 163 yards throwing and 70 yards rushing, with two touchdowns.

The Dragons next face West Bloomfield on Sept. 16, on the road. The Lakers stand 1-2, beating Royal Oak last week 39-21. Bell said the team will give the Dragons a good challenge, though it has lost to both Clarkston and Farmington.