In Play with Tom Markowski


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Oxford makes two goal line stands, beats Lake Orion

By: Tom Markowski, September 19, 2014, 12:00 am

~~Oxford – The emotions a Lake Orion-Oxford game produces was seen in the tears that welled in eyes of Oxford senior Glacier Wallington on Friday on the blue turf at Oxford High.
Unless these two rivals meet in the playoffs Wallington played his final game against Lake Orion. And at halftime, with the teams tied at 7-7, he let his teammates know how much this game means to him.
“I just said that we got to come together and we’d get this done,” Wallington said. “I asked them, “Who’s ready to come with me?” And they came with me. I just love them.”
Oxford hung on to defeat Lake Orion 21-14 before a standing-room-only crowd of 6,000.
Oxford (4-0) moved to 3-0 in the Oakland Activities Association Red Division.
Lake Orion (2-2) slipped to 2-1 and, with Clarkston and a crossover game with the OAA White Division still on its schedule, the Dragons are in danger of missing the playoffs.
This matters little to Wallington. He holds no grudge against his rivals but his focus is on this team, his team.
“It’s awesome,” he said. “I’ve never been this emotional. The defense played a real solid game.”
That last statement is typical of Wallington. He deflects any praise that comes his way.
But he’s right. Oxford’s defense rose to the occasion time after time. On consecutive drives it stopped Lake Orion on the goal line. After the first stop Oxford drove 99 yards in 11 plays to take a 14-7 lead. Wallington scampered the final six yards for the touchdown.
Wallington get the drive going, and prevented a possible safety on the fourth play of the drive. On a second-and-9 from the 12, Wallington rolled to his left but two Lake Orion defenders were there to meet him. He reverse his field and ran back into the end zone before he spotted John Patrick in the right flat and the two hooked up on a 37-yard pass play.
“That was the turning point of the game,” Lake Orion Coach Chris Bell said. “Instead of getting a safety they get a big play.”
Lake Orion tied the game on a Cameron Kostiz’s 13-yard touchdown pass to Nicholas Fox with 5:17 remaining.
It took Oxford three plays to regain the lead as Scotty Stubenrauch (20 carries, 172 yards) went 65 yards for a touchdown with 4:01 left.
Lake Orion reached the Oxford 12 but passes into the end zone on third and fourth down were incomplete.
Matt Krause led Lake Orion with 199 yards rushing on 37 carries.
“When you have a four-year starter like Glacier, that’s what happens,” Oxford Coach Bud Rowley said. “Look at him. He kept us alive. Who’s making the speech at halftime? Glacier.
“It’s a very proud moment for Oxford football.”