Lake Orion senior Raymond Payne sheds a Rochester Adams tackler during Lake Orion's 35-0 win over Adams on Sept. 29 at Adams High School.

Lake Orion senior Raymond Payne sheds a Rochester Adams tackler during Lake Orion's 35-0 win over Adams on Sept. 29 at Adams High School.

Photo by Erin Sanchez.

Lake Orion rushing attack routs Rochester Adams 35-0

By: Jonathan Szczepaniak | Rochester Post | Published October 3, 2023


Lake Orion is here to stay, and they demonstrated it once more in one of the more complete showings on both sides of the ball you’ll see in a football game.

After going 0-2 to Rochester Adams last season in both their homecoming game at Lake Orion and the opening round of districts, Lake Orion came out firing on all cylinders in their 35-0 win over Adams at Adams High School Sept. 29.

It’s been a bit of a revenge tour all season after Lake Orion (6-0, 4-0 in OAA Red) finished 4-6 and fourth in the Oakland Activities Association Red Conference last year, but this win meant a little more for the Dragons.

“Last year was a bummer getting knocked out in the first round of the playoffs, but it’s the greatest feeling in the world coming back after losing twice and then putting 35-0 on them,” senior wideout Dominic Novak said. “It’s the best feeling in the world.”

As Lake Orion has done all season, they attacked the Adams defense early with a heavy dose of the run game.

Senior running back Billy Roberson handled the first five carries of the opening drive, and Roberson set up the Dragons’ offense for a perfectly executed option play as junior quarterback TR Hill went untouched for a 48-yard touchdown to make it 7-0 early in the first quarter.

“We got so many stars everywhere and so many people that can get active,” Roberson said. “Honestly, we just go in there with the mindset that everybody is going to get some and everybody is going to score. When people want to think like Adams and think, ‘Oh, only number three is going to get the ball,’ that’s when big stuff happens.”

The Dragons’ defense forced a 3-out on the ensuing drive, and senior Raymond Payne would tack on another score with a 32-yard touchdown run to make it 14-0. Payne ran for two touchdowns in the win.

The Lake Orion offense stalled till late in the second quarter when Roberson added a 3-yard touchdown for the 21-0 lead right before halftime, but the offense didn’t need to be sharp when the defensive unit was attacking Adams all night, holding Adams to 155 total yards offensively.

Lake Orion recovered two fumbles, including one for a touchdown to take a 35-0 lead, earned three sacks, and senior Andrew Parker added an interception. Adams last suffered a shutout loss Oct. 16 in a 37-0 loss to West Bloomfield.

Lake Orion, currently ranked No. 5 in Division 1 MHSAA rankings, will face Clarkston in a winner-takes-all matchup for the OAA-Red league title Oct. 6 at Clarkston High School. Adams will look to rebound against Rochester Hills Stoney Creek at Stoney Creek High School.

Lake Orion was last undefeated this far into the season in 2012 when they, coincidentally, faced Clarkston for the league-deciding game, losing 21-14. Lake Orion also fell to Clarkston last season in an electric 45-41 game.

After getting the upper hand on Adams for last year, maybe Lake Orion can take care of some unfinished business with Clarkston.

With all that in mind, Roberson said they’re just taking the season a game at a time.

“We’re not focusing on anything else but the now, and we’re focused on taking care of business,” Roberson said.