CLINTON TOWNSHIP — Clinton Township Clintondale senior linebacker Malik Hazzard made his presence felt in the second half of the Dragons' 34-6 win over Warren Lincoln Sept. 6 at Clintondale.
After sitting out the first half for undisclosed reasons, Hazzard ran for 104 yards on nine carries, including a 14-yard touchdown run with 11:17 left in the third quarter. Hazzard also led Clintondale (2-0, 1-0 Macomb Area Conference Bronze Division) with nine tackles and forced a fumble half way through the fourth quarter with his team up 34-6.
"i was just ready to get in the game," Hazzard said after the game. "I was intense. I just let out a scream after I forced that fumble."
Dragons coach Dave Schindler, who with the win guided Clintondale to its 12th straight regular-season win dating back to 2011, said Hazzard took the game over. The third-year starter was a part of a group of running backs that ran for 237 yards in the win. Along with Hazzard, sophomore running back Devin Waldon, senior running back James Gibson and senior running back Todd Moore found the end zone for Clintondale. Gibson also returned a punt 33 yards for the final score of the contest.
"We thought we could wear (Lincoln) down because they play a lot of kids (on both sides of the ball),"Schindler said. "But they were a tough, physical team. Our athletes just broke some long runs and made big plays."
On their rushing scores, the Dragons averaged 20 yards a play.
Lincoln coach Darius Alexander said his team gave a strong effort after falling 44-18 to Clintondale last season. He said his team must become more consistent with its play, especially with a lack of depth.
Abes senior running back Mike Reese scored on a 1-yard effort for Lincoln's lone score. The touchdown came on a 17-play drive that spanned most of the third quarter.
"Our guys have to step up," Alexander said. "When a big play happens, we have to stay with it and keep our heads in the game."
The Abes (0-2, 0-1 MAC Bronze) were led by senior running back Derrell Stewart. The 5-foot-6-inch back ran for 99 yards on 24 carries.
As a team, Lincoln ran for 243 yards.
Clintondale tallied nine first downs, while the Abes recorded 19 — 14 in the second half.
The Dragons next face Center Line High in a game set for noon Sept. 14 at Center Line.
Lincoln will look to pick up a win when it hosts Mount Clemens at 7 p.m. Sept. 13.