Source: Sherman Publications

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Lessons learned
Gridiron heroes gird for tough season after loss in opener

by Wendi Reardon

September 04, 2013

Caine Watlington makes a run in the first half. Photo by Wendi Reardon
Last Friday night's lightning storm delayed the finish of Clarkston's varsity football opener at Rochester Adams High School. The 10-hour delay wasn't enough for the Wolves to turn things around though, as they lost to Adams, 12-7.

"We weren't very good," said Wolves' head coach Kurt Richardson. "We played the way we practiced the last two weeks -- pretty uninspired."

Officials called off play as the Wolves were finally moving the ball down field, at the end of the third quarter. Down, 12-0, Clarkston quarterback DJ Zezula connected with Tim Cason for a 44 yard reception, with 35 seconds left in the third. The play moved the Wolves to Adams' 26 yard line.

But before they could make a run for a touchdown, lightning was spotted north of the field, delaying the game two hours. It was later decided to continue play Saturday morning.

The Wolves came back with an extra offensive weapon on Saturday as running back Ian Eriksen was cleared for play after being out the night before with an Achilles injury. Eriksen scored on a 4-yard run. The Point After Touchdown (PAT) by senior kicker Shane Hynes, brought the Wolves within five points of Adams, 12-7, with about 10 minutes left in the game.

"I think they realized all the sudden on Saturday they better get their butts going," said Richardson. "They played much better on Saturday. Plus, it helped having Ian."

Zezula was 2-for-9 in passing for 49 yards. Caine Watlington caught one of the passes for for five yards and Cason caught the other for 44 yards.

Watlington led in rushing on 16 carries for 90 yards. Eriksen ran 56 yards on nine carries. Centrus Williams rushed six yards on two carries.

Leading tacklers for defense were Watlington with six tackles and three assists; Don Monson, five tackles and four assists; Adam and Nick Matich both had four tackles and two assists; and Blake Rehahn had four tackles and two assists.

This week's practice will be different if the boys want to post their first win against West Bloomfield on Friday.

Richardson added he hoped the game opened the players' eyes for the rest of the season.

"West Bloomfield won their first game and they are good athletes," he said.

The Lakers host Clarkston on Friday, 4925 Orchard Lake Road. Kick off at 7 p.m.

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Adams scored first when Highlander Jordan Shive scored with 3:30 left in the first quarter on Friday night

"Defensively we didn't win that many downs," said Richardson. "Every time there was a big play, first down or third down they made big plays and we didn't."

Adams scored again with 2:27 left in the third quarter and were blocked by Clarkston from making a 2-point conversion, leading the score 12-0.

Just before the game was delayed, Cason downed a punt in the endzone -- this drive which lasted from Friday to Saturday, eventually led to Clarkston's only touchdown.