Source: Sherman Publications

Oxford steamrolls Orion in football opener

by Gabriel L. Ouzounian

August 31, 2011

Lake Orion’s football team knew what was coming, but could not stop it.

The Oxford Wildcats used their traditional power running game to control the clock, rack up 300 yards on the ground and rip the Dragons, 41-20, in the season opener for both teams. A capacity crowd of some 9,000 watched the blowout, which christened Oxford’s new blue turf field.

The game was a far cry from last season’s opener versus Oxford, when Lake Orion manhandled the Wildcats at home, 48-6.  

Lake Orion Head Coach Chris Bell said the humbling defeat came down to losing the physical battle on the line of scrimmage. 

“We made mistakes offensively in the first half, when we had multiple possessions and only one touchdown,” said Bell. “In the second half, we could not stop the running game of Oxford’s and had three turnovers offensively. We made some plays, but were just too far behind.”

Indeed, the game began with Oxford scoring on just the fourth play of the contest. The Wildcats didn’t let up and with just over four minutes left in the first quarter they capitalized on a Dragon turnover to make it 14-0 and the rout was on. Oxford scored again in the second quarter on a grind-it-out 18-play drive that epitomized the game.

Lake Orion did close the gap with six seconds left before halftime with its first touchdown of the season, courtesy of a pass between senior quarterback Sean Charette and senior receiver Robert Aiello (11 receptions). 

Running behind a dominating offensive line, Oxford’s Prescott Line ran for 232 yards and five touchdowns on 33 carries. Charette completed 22 of 33 passes for a total of 322 yards and three touchdowns. During the fourth quarter, Charette connected with junior Chaz Miller twice for scores (7 receptions).

Bell said the game showed how far Lake Orion “has to go,” and his staff will be addressing changes as needed. 

“We’re going to find the right players, willing to do what we’re asking them to do,” he said. “We have a lot of changes to make, but we’ll do them and will control what takes place on this team.

“The game exposed our weaknesses, but I’m confident we’ll improve.”

Up Next: Rochester

The Dragons open their home schedule this week (Thursday) against Rochester, 1-0. The Falcons beat L’Anse Creuse last week, 42-13, behind a running game that accounted for six scores. Running back Cody DeVoe scored three touchdowns and finished with 64 yards. The Rochester defense recorded four sacks and four interceptions. Last year, the Falcons finished 6-4 and made the playoffs for the first time since 1999. The team returns five starters on offense, seven on defense.

“Rochester is good,” Bell said. “They have their first win and they are a playoff team.”