Football surrenders 1st half lead to Venice, falls in season opener

By Luke Holthouse

After tying the score at 27 with under a minute to play, the Wolverines surrendered a touchdown to Venice with 13 seconds left and fell 34-27 last Friday.

Both a failed extra point attempt after a 35-yard touchdown  catch by Clinton Hooks ’13 on fourth down and a failed onside kick return aided Venice in its comeback.

The Wolverines were leading 21-0 toward the end of the first half, but Venice scored on the last play of the half cutting the Wolverines’ lead to 14 points.

Venice then score 20 unanswered points in the  second half, taking a 27-21 lead. Though it appeared that the Wolverines’ late comeback was enough to send a packed crowd at Ted Slavin Field home happy after Chad Kanoff ’13 found Hooks in the end zone for the quarterbacks’ third touchdown, the team could not hold down Venice offense at the end of the game.

The game was broadcasted via live feed on foxsportswest.com. Full coverage of the game can be seen from the website.

The team showcased two major changes last Friday. First-year offensive coordinator Scot Ruggles introduced a “hurry-up” offense, where the offense sets up in formation and calls a play without organizing in a huddle. Players also began playing on both offense and defense this season, rather than specializing in one position.

The team used players both on offense and defense because of a decline in the number of players on the team from last year.

A successful hurry-up offense allows the team to run plays without giving an opposing defense very much time to set up its formation or catch its breath.

“[It is] constantly putting pressure on the defense and making them think while they’re tired,” Ruggles said.

The Wolverine offense scored three touchdowns on its first six possesions but were had only one touchdown in the second half as Venice adjusted to the Wolverines’ offense at the half.

“We’re looking good this year,” offensive and defensive lineman Andrew Green ’12 said. “We just have to play tough this year, start fast, finish strong, and we’ll be able to stop anyone. We just have to be conditioned and ready to go. We’re all excited for this year, and everybody should come out and watch our games.”

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