Source: Sherman Publications

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Cougars caged in nailbiter

by Wendi Reardon

September 26, 2012

Nathan Yeloushan, Reid Kaminski and Bryce Witherspoon assist Alex Dicea with a tackle. Photo by Larry Wright
The scoreboard marked the two minute remaining at Stoney Creek's football field as the Wolves and the Cougars battled for the win after tying the game, 21-21.

Junior running back Ian Eriksen struck with a 4-yard run into the endzone with 1:20 to go, putting the boys into the lead. A PAT kick from Shane Hynes put the game, 28-21.

As the Cougars went to tie the game on their possession, junior defensiveback Caine Watlington intercepted the ball to end the game for Stoney Creek.

"I didn't think we played very well," admitted Kurt Richardson, head coach for Clarkston Varsity Football. "We played unmotivated. In the same sense, I think Stoney Creek played well."

The Wolves opened the game with a 10-yard touchdown run by Eriksen to lead.

When the first quarter finished Clarkston still held onto the lead, but the winds were about to change for the game.

The Cougars scored early in the next quarter to tie the score, and sophomore quarterback D.J. Zezula brought the boys back into the lead after his 69-yard touchdown run.

But Stoney Creek bounced back up not only to tie the score by halftime. Returning from break, the Cougars scored on a 58-yard pass play in the third quarter to pull themselves into the lead, 21-14.

The Wolves were behind for the first time since the 2012 fall season began.

"They came after us," said Richardson. "They had a good game plan. Their kids played extremely hard."

He admitted it was a little bit of a surprise, and the penalties against the Wolves didn't help the team.

"We had a lot of penalties that absolutely killed us, and those are things we need to take care of," Richardson said. "They will bite us in the butt one of these times at a key time. It will cost us, and it almost happened on Friday night."

Watlington recovered a fumble on Stoney Creek's possession, giving the Wolves control of the ball.

The next time Watlington struck was to dig the boys out of the hole and scored on a 62-yard touchdown to tie the score, 21-21.

Richardson pointed out it wasn't one particular thing helping the team pull up from being behind.

"Caine had a huge run for us," he added. "We had good defense at the end. "

Eriksen was the leading rusher with 141 yards on 26 carries. Watlington carried the ball three times for 87 yards and Zezula carried the ball eight times for 83 yards.

Hynes was 4-for-4 on PATs for th night.

"Hynes was very good again," Richardson added.

For defense, senior Chris Calvano was the leading tackler with eight tackles and four assists and senior Nathan Yeloushand had five tackles and two assists. Watlington had three tackles, a fumble recovery and pass interception.

Richardson added Adam Myers had a good game on the defensive line.

"He had a lot of tackles," he said. "He caused a lot of disruption. We had a little adversity on Friday. A lot of negative happened but a lot of positive, too."

The boys are at Clarkston High School stadium this Friday for their Homecoming Game against Pontiac.

"We have to avoid disruptions and remember it's a football game," Richardson said. "They need to stay focused."

The game starts at 7 p.m.