FOOTBALL: Wolves chew up Adams to remain unbeaten

| September 14, 2018 | Comments (0)



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CLARKSTON — Like a video game of old-school Pac-Man, Clarkston chewed up yardage Friday like dots in a maze.

The end result was the defending Division1 state champion Wolves remaining unbeaten with a resounding 30-8 triumph over visiting Rochester Adams in an OAA Red Division clash.

Adams had defeated Clarkston 28-21 in Week 6 of last season, only to see Wolves win eight straight after that point to claim their third state title in a five-year span.

This time they gained their measure of revenge.

Clarkston (4-0, 3-0) thrived behind its mammoth five-man offensive line, spearheaded by the sophomore trio of Ben Haas, Rocco Spindler and Garrett Dellinger, the latter two being high-major college recruits.

“Our offensive line is very good. They allow us to really move the football and control the clock a bit,” noted Clarkston coach Kurt Richardson. “We’ve gotten a lot better at that each week.”

Clarkston never trailed, opening with a 17-play, 80-yard drive that was capped by Billette’s 3-yard plunge for a 7-0 lead.

Billette has teamed up with Holly transfer Jake Honstetter to emerge as a one of the state’s better 1-2 punches from the backfield.

Billette, a backup last season who gained some playing time during the postseason, had 21 carries for 104 yards, while Honstetter, an all-Flint Metro League player at Holly last season, had 122 yards on 15 carries for the Wolves.

“I think Jake Billette has come a long ways. He and Honstetter, who came to us when his family moved from Holly, have done a great job with our running game,” said Richardson. “We had some really long drives, which kept (the Adams offense) off the field for long stretches.”

Senior quarterback Jake Jansen guided the way, finishing 8-for-16 passing for 85 yards and no interceptions.

“Jake’s gown up a bit. He was our backup last season, but he’s really coming along now that he’s the starter,” said Richardson. “Overall, we’ve come a long ways. We need to keep getting better because it’s not going to get easier. “

Adams, which had only one possession in the first quarter which amounted with 13 yards and a fumble, struggled to mount a threat in the first half.

In the second half, Carter Ferris spoiled the shutout bid when he scored on a 3-yard keeper with 8:06 left in the third quarter, then hit Jack Bishop with the conversion pass to trim the deficit to 16-8.

The Highlanders (2-2, 1-2) could get no closer.

Clarkston was forced to punt from its own 30, but an Adams unsportsmanlike conduct penalty gave them new life on its drive. Eleven plays later as part of a 17-play drive, the Wolves scored on Jensen’s 1-yard touchdown run up the middle with 11:54 to go in the game, which broke the Highlanders’ back.

“It’s hard enough to win games in the OAA-Red with all of the good teams, but to have a call like that. We were down 16-8 at the time and starting to gain some momentum,” noted Adams coach Tony Patritto. “I’ve coached for 30 years and can’t remember that ever being called on a punt. That’s not the only reason why we lost. They did a great job controlling the clock on us. We did a better job in the second half, but that call shifted the momentum right back to them.”

Clarkston later added a 7-yard score by Honstetter to up the final advantage to 30-8 with 9:16 remaining.

Part of Clarkston’s 16-0 halftime lead included Jensen’s 14-yard TD strike to junior Matt Miller with 10:21 to go in the second quarter. The drive was set up when Clayton Hall recovered a fumble on the Adams 48 late in the first quarter.

After coming up short on a 58-yard attempt, senior Tristan Mattson fiound some redemption by nailing a 43-yard field goal as time expired at the end of the first half.

Ferris finished 10-for-18 passing for 114 yards and one interception for Adams, which committed three turnovers

Brendan Barker had an interception and Aaron Berti also recovered a fumble for Clarkston.

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