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FOOTBALL: South Lyon East is hot heading down the stretch

By: Scott Burnstein, September 27, 2012, 11:00 am

SOUTH LYON – The South Lyon East Cougars are making a name for themselves on the high school gridiron in 2012.

This is only the Cougars fifth year as a program and they are making a serious bid for their first-ever playoff appearance, sitting with a 3-2 record more than halfway through the season.

Owners of a two-game winning streak, East is looking to ride the momentum of their recent success into its Week 6 throwdown with defending Kensington Lakes Activities Association Central Division champion Northville on Friday

“We’ve been playing pretty well lately,” Cougars’ head coach Mike Lindeman said. “These guys are all great competitors and they’re intent on taking this program to that next level.”

Dating back to 2011, East has won five of its past seven games. The program finished 3-6 last season and has never won more than three games in a single season.

Down-to-the-wire victories are becoming a habit for Lindeman’s squad this fall.

Last week, East snuck out an 18-15 win on homecoming over a very good Salem team, handing the brawny visitors their first loss of the year.

Back in Week 4, the Cougars slipped past Novi 26-23 in overtime.

“We’re really executing nicely when the game’s on the line,” Lindeman said. “That’s very encouraging to see and something that injects confidence throughout the team.”

The primary reason for all the promise on the football field around East these days is senior quarterback Cam Thomas, one of the state’s top-rated field generals.

Committed to play his college pigskin in the Mid-American Conference at Western Michigan, Thomas is in the midst of another sparkling campaign under center.

The prototype drop-back passer has already thrown for 960 yards and seven touchdowns this year, on the heels of a 2011 season where he threw for 1,800 yards and 12 touchdowns and earned all-league honors in the KLAA.

Wade Morris is Thomas’ favorite target in the Cougars’ aerial assault. The pair connected for the game-winning touchdown in overtime of the Novi game.

Alex Spratke is a hard-working running back that carries the load for the East rushing attack and players like Luke Marconcin, Alex O’ Brien, Raymond Tague, Jacob Hovey, Joey Merrick and Pete Mindling highlight a fast-improving defense.

Possibly the most anticipated regular season game left on the schedule for the Cougars is a Week 7 battle with cross-town rival South Lyon, a team East has never beaten and will be a favorite against come game time.