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Lake Orion Reverts to Run, Powers Over Oxford

   | Dan Stickradt

Lake Orion Reverts to Run, Powers Over Oxford

LAKE ORION — Oxford accomplished something against Lake Orion that few teams have been able to accomplish in recent years: Keep the Dragons off the scoreboard during the first half.

That effort simply awoke a sleeping giant. Lake Orion scored 17 unanswered, second-half points in topping visiting rival Oxford, 17-10, in the Battle of M-24 in front of nearly 10,000 fans Friday. Senior running back Jacob Miller scored on a 5-yard run up the middle with 7:24 left, completing the comeback for Lake Orion. Miller finished the night with 22 carries for 148 yards and two touchdowns — a total of 141 yards came in the second half. Zak Arnold added seven carries for 69 yards for the Dragons, who did not complete a pass.

“We just had to get the offense on the field more and we had to keep our defense off the field — just put some drives together,” said Miller, a third-year varsity veteran. “(Oxford) has a lot of two-way players and we wore them down.”

Lake Orion went to a full-house backfield offense in the second half and simply wore the Wildcats (0-1) down over the final 30 minutes.

“We were making mistakes (in the first half) and the first-year guys were tentative. We weren’t getting the backside linebackers over,” said Lake Orion coach Chris Bell. “We were one guy away and we had a few penalties, dropped a few passes. “In the second half — we’ve been working hard on this double-back full-house package (offense) — and we’ve been keeping that in our back pocket,” continued Bell. “We’ve got talented athletes. We’ve got a (first-year starting) quarterback. It’s little bit simpler up front but it provides some misdirection, so it can be an effective tool for us. We tried it (and it worked).”

Trailing 10-0, Lake Orion finally got untracked with a six-play, 64-yard drive with Miller plunging in from 1-yard out with 5:50 left in the third stanza. The Dragons were finally able to tie it up on their next possession when Jeremy King drilled a 38-yard field goal with 1:26 left in the third frame.

“We instilled the no-huddle. It wears people down,” noted Bell. “In the second half we decided to go full house. We decided to make it a physical football game for four quarters and see if they could match up. “I’m proud of our guys. We won the physical battle in the second half,” added Bell. “That’s the bottom line. We won the physical battle against a very physical football team.”

Defensively, Lake Orion forced Oxford to punt three times in the second half and halted the Wildcats on the Dragons’ 36