2017-08-27 / Sports

TRIAL BY FIRE

Lapeer stunned by Clarkston for 2nd-straight year
BY KYLEE RICHARDSON
810-452-2632 • krichardson@mihomepaper.com


Lapeer’s Hunter Best (31) puts a stopper on the Clarkston offense during Friday’s season opener as Alex Huestis (4) and Owen Ruddock (5) close in. 
Photos by Rusty Bashore Lapeer’s Hunter Best (31) puts a stopper on the Clarkston offense during Friday’s season opener as Alex Huestis (4) and Owen Ruddock (5) close in. Photos by Rusty Bashore ANN ARBOR — Inexperience was the downfall for the Lapeer varsity football team in Friday’s season opener against Clarkston at the second annual Battle at the Big House. Lapeer suffered a 42-7 loss.

With only one returning starter on defense and a handful on the offense with a junior at quarterback, Lapeer was just too young to take on a school playing at the caliber of Clarkston.

“They were a much better team than we were. We were just too inexperienced, we’re a young team,” said Mike Smith, Lapeer coach. “We’re going to drill practices and get better each day. A lot of it came down to inexperience, we only have one returning starter at defense. We were playing a team that was playing at a really high level that we’re just not at yet.”


“We were just too inexperienced, we’re a young team,” Lapeer coach Mike Smith (center) commented on the game. “We were just too inexperienced, we’re a young team,” Lapeer coach Mike Smith (center) commented on the game. Lapeer struggled to get any sort of momentum on either side of the ball and star running back Jalen Kirkland was held to just 76 yards. The Lightning’s only touchdown came in the first quarter when special teams recovered a muffed punt for a touchdown that sailed over the Clarkston player’s head. It was fumbled numerous times before Lapeer recovered it in the end zone.

Clarkston was the first to strike with 5:59 left in the first, taking a 7-0 lead. Lapeer then recovered the muffed punt for a touchdown to tie it 7-7 with 1:53 left in the first quarter, but that would be Lapeer’s only score of the game. Clarkston added another three touchdowns to take a 28-7 lead at halftime. In the second half, Clarkston added a touchdown in both the third and fourth quarters for a 42-7 final.

Junior Brady Apple took the helm as the quarterback, going 11 of 21 for 104 yards. Lapeer had 47 plays for 213 yards of total offense, with 26 carries for 109 yards. Jalen Kirkland led the offensive effort with 14 carries for 76 yards.

“We’re going to get back to work on Sunday to get ready for Thursday,” added Smith. Lapeer hosts the newly-branded Flint Jaguars, which consists of Flint Northwestern and Flint Southwestern, on Thursday for its home opener.

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