Paul Hurley and his pinpoint passing made sure visiting Clarkston’s chance for a three-peat in Division 1 ended in the district opener Friday at Romeo.
The Bulldogs’ senior quarterback was nearly flawless in running the offense, and the Romeo defense came up with two interceptions while stuffing star running back Nolan Eriksen (16 yards, 11 carries) in a 28-14 victory.
“They were just a better team than us, and they outcoached us,” Wolves coach Kurt Richardson said. “We made some mistakes. I’ll tell you what, those three little guys that Romeo has down, they play football the way the game is meant to be played.”
They were seniors Jacob Hernden, Joey Meyers and Hunberto Flores.
“We call them the heel-clickers because they are the only linemen I know who can do handstands and click their heels,” Romeo co-coach Jason Couch said. “They do a great job.”
Romeo (9-1) travels to Lapeer for a showdown with the undefeated Lightning. Clarkston ends 7-3.
Hurley’s passes to Brad Tanner dominated the first quarter as the combo moved the ball against the Wolves.
“They (Clarkston) knocked me out two years ago, so I’ve been waiting for this,” said Hurley, who finished 16-for-21 for 237 yards and one TD. “We were able to pick up the blitz. Me and my wide receivers spent a lot of time filling in those blitzes, and we did a great job executing.”
Romeo scored first, with Lucas Schimon scoring from 3 yards with 2:58 left in the first quarter.
The Wolves didn’t get a first down until the second quarter, on a pass from Alex Kessman to Hayden Schoenherr.
Clarkston put together its first good drive, only to have Kessman picked off by Kade Messner at the goal line with 5:28 left in the half. His return to the 29 gave the Bulldogs good field position.
Kessman, an accomplished field-goal kicker, had a chance to put the Wolves on the scoreboard, but his attempt was wide right with 24.7 seconds left in the half.
Clarkston’s first possession of the second half was a disaster. Kessman wasn’t ready for the first snap and lost 22 yards. On the second play, the ball rolled back to him and he recovered it for a 10-yard loss.
“That really hurt,” Richardson said. “What was it, second-and-42?”
Tanner returned the ensuing punt 44 yards to Clarkston’s 18. Tanner finished the drive with a 3-yard TD run to give Romeo a 14-0 lead.
Clarkston’s special teams came through when Michael Fluegel went 95 yards for the score on the ensuing kickoff to make it 14-7.
Contact Perry A. Farrell: 313-222-2555 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @farrellperry.