Lake Orion crushes Clarkston to claim OAA Red football title

Lake Orion crushes Clarkston to claim OAA Red football title

Homecoming game 7 p.m. Friday vs. Farmington

By Wendi Reardon Price
Sports Writer
INDEPENDENCE TWP. — Lake Orion Varsity Football continued their winning streak, this time with a 42-21 victory over crosstown rivals the Wolves at Clarkston High School last Friday.
The win, their first over the Wolves since 2019, clinched the Oakland Athletics Association Red title for the Dragons as they finished undefeated in the league.
“I’m just proud of our guys,” said Chris Bell, head coach. “They came out and played hard. It wasn’t easy. Clarkston is a good team. But, to come over here and win a league championship and get to 7-0 – so proud of our guys. They worked hard. They practiced hard. They were ready, and I think their play showed that.”
Bell added there was no motivation needed as the players prepared for the game.
“It’s Clarkston against Lake Orion,” he said. “It’s old fashioned. It’s league title on the line – the way it should be.”
“It feels amazing to see my teammates come out here and give 100 percent effort to really fight for it,” said senior Billy Roberson. “Fighting in the trenches and never giving up, never taking a step back. I am really proud of them. I am proud of everybody, the players, the coaches. I am over the moon.”
He added winning the OAA Red title is great.
“I am happy about it,” Roberson shared. “But, this is just a stepping stone to what we ultimately want and that’s the state championship. I am going to celebrate this win tonight and be happy, but we have business to take care of next week.”
He shared this season has been amazing.
“We come to practice. We put in the work and it reflects on the field,” Roberson said. “We just keep making each other better. We keep working and having fun out there – it’s all we can do.”
Bell added the season has been wonderful.
“Not just winning, but they are great guys,” he said. “They are great kids. They come to work every day. They have big goals. It’s been so much fun working with them.”
A difference between last season and this season is the connection the players have, Roberson shared.
“We want it more,” he added. “That’s what we have been harping on during the off season – wanting it more than anybody else. We can’t let anyone want it more than us.”
The Wolves opened the game with possession starting on the 20-yard line. On the first play, quarterback Brady Collins gained 14 yards on his run.
On the next play, the ball was fumbled and recovered by the Dragons, starting their play on the 35-yard line.
Less than two minutes later, Lake Orion scored on 16-yard touchdown run by quarterback Tristan Hill. A PAT by William Hoffman put the score 7-0.
The Wolves ran out of downs on their possession and the ball went back to Lake Orion. But, the Dragons wouldn’t have the ball for too long. With 6:39 left in the first quarter, Lake Orion fumbled the ball and Caleb Trigalet recovered it for the Wolves on the Dragons’ 42-yard line.
The next score would come from Lake Orion with 1:12 on a 3-yard touchdown run by Roberson.
Just over three minutes into the second quarter, Hoffman kicked a 36-yard field goal, putting the Dragons up 17-0.
Desman Stephens put Clarkston on the scoreboard with six minutes left in the first half with a 38-yard touchdown run. A PAT from Eddie Langton put the score 17-7.
Lake Orion responded scoring another touchdown by Roberson, this time off a 4-yard run with two minutes remaining.
As time ran out on the clock Hoffman scoring on a 22-yard field goal, 27-7.
The only scoring during the third quarter came from Clarkston on a 8-yard touchdown run by Stephens with one minute remaining.
Lake Orion scored on their next possession and three minutes into the final quarter, Roberson had a 3-yard touchdown run. A 2-point conversion from Hill to Dominic Novak was successful put the lead to 35-14.
Both teams were unsuccessful on their next possessions and the ball went to Clarkston with five minutes left in the game.
On the first play, Stephens made his way down the field on a 61-yard run, putting the ball on the 22-yard line. Two passes went incomplete. But the third attempt by quarterback Jeshuah Williams connected to Brody Kosin for a touchdown.
The last touchdown of the night was made by Hill on a 1-yard touchdown run to put Lake Orion up 42-21.
Lake Orion had 421 yards of total offense compared to 320 for Clarkston.
Lake Orion had 418 yards rushing on 55 carries while Clarkston ran the ball 26 times for 155 yards. The Dragons had three yards passing, while the Wolves completed seven of 23 pass attempts for 165 yards.
Lake Orion also racked up 22 first downs, holding the Wolves to 13 first downs. Both teams committed turnovers, one for Lake Orion and two for Clarkston.
Dragon running back Billy Roberson again had a stellar game, rushing for 215 yards on 31 carries, scoring three touchdowns. Quarterback Tristan Hill ran for 81 yards and two touchdowns. Slotback Jackson Vasquez gained 76 yards on five carries.
Andrew Parker again led the Dragon defense with 11 tackles. Carson Negri notched eight tackles and Ryan McCartan had six tackles.
Lake Orion (7-0, 5-0 OAA Red) hosts Farmington (2-5, 1-4 OAA White) this Friday for the Dragons’ Homecoming game.
“They get to enjoy homecoming,” said Bell. “Farmington has some good players. We have to play well. Hopefully it is another win. Then, we play an undefeated Saline team.”
Kick off is at 7 p.m.

Photo by Larry Wright.

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