Source: Sherman Publications

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Hungry like the Wolf

by Wendi Reardon

November 02, 2011

Evan Montgomery fends off a Pontiac defender during his run on Friday night. Photo by Clarkston Photography
With the first-round defeat of Lake Orion, the Wolves will take on Walled Lake Central in the second round of the MHSAA district playoffs.

Clarkston made short work of first-round opponents Pontiac, 40-12, last Friday.

"It was a nice win for us," long-time head coach Kurt Richardson smiled after his excited group of players walked off the field.

The Wolves were ahead 10-6 with 2:28 to go in the first half from a touchdown from running back Joey Goss and four points from kicker Alex Barta, off a PAT and field goal.

But the boys changed the momentum with a twist of fate. Pontiac's Joey Harrison threw a pass and instead of it being caught by it's intended receiver, it bounced off Nik Clark's helmet. Teammate Brad Leuenhagan swept in to catch it and turn over possession to the Wolves.

With 29:7 left in the first half, Goss finished the action, jumping over a pile of defenders and into the endzone from the 4-yard line. He scored once more on a handoff from quarterback Mitch Baenziger for a two-point to bring the boys to 18-6.

"It was just pure luck," Richardson said. "The nice part about it was Leuenhagan was hustling to the ball. Good things happen when you fly to the ball."

The third quarter also proved successful for the boys as Baenziger and Ian Eriksen added two more touchdowns to the score. With another PAT from Barta and a 2-point conversion the lead jumped to 33-6.

"We made some changes," said Richardson. "Tony Miller, our defensive coordinator, made some good adjustments and changed the fronts we were in. We didn't blitz as much and stayed at home more."

Eriksen, a sophomore and one of the 15 players brought up from the JV football team, aided in two touchdowns during Friday's game.

"I just went out there, played hard and had fun," he said. "There are a lot of good guys on the team and a lot of good guys blocking me."

Richardson knew he would have a lot to contribute to the team. He added, with his talent, he would have been called up to varsity earlier but wouldn't have had many carries with Goss, Brian Kaminsky, Mike Schwartz, Evan Montgomery and Alex Dicea in as running backs.

"We know he is a player and he is going to be a stud for us," Richardson said.

The lead in the second half provided playing time for the second line and for the players recruited from the JV team.

"I love being able to get all the kids in," Richardson smiled.

The boys now prepare to face off against Walled Lake Central after the Vikings defeating Lake Orion, 20-17. The teams were tied with five seconds remaining in the game when Central scored on a 20-yard field goal.

Richardson didn't know much about the Vikings, also 7-3, on Friday night but knew what the boys were going have to focus on in additional to their usual training.

"Our special teams have to get better," he said.

"For me, just have to learn, have fun and keep playing hard," Eriksen added. "We just have to keep doing what we are doing."

The playoff game is set for 7 p.m., Friday at Clarkston High School stadium.