Oakland 35 MSU 0: Golden Grizzlies defeat Spartans in club football homecoming game


Bohdanna Cherstylo

Oakland University President George Hynd joins in on the coin toss decision before the beginning of the game.

Oakland University Football Club (3-0) beat Michigan State Club Football 35-0 in the homecoming game on Saturday, Sept. 24.

The Golden Grizzlies had something to prove against the Spartans since they lost against them last year. According to the National Club Football Association (NCFA), MSU was ranked No. 2 in the country in the coaches poll before week one, while Oakland was ranked No. 5.

“I think we changed that today,” Oakland head coach Tom Menas said. “This being homecoming, it was important, and for these kids that work so hard, I couldn’t be prouder of them.”

The highlight of the game was Oakland’s strong defense that kept MSU from scoring.

“I think our defense played exceptionally,” Menas said. “I think we made a statement for the whole country that we had the number-one defense in the country [last year], and I think we’re probably better than we were last year, which makes for excitement.”

Oakland’s victory was not only due to their defense, but also the team’s strong offensive line that protected sophomore quarterback Nathan Emery.

“I can’t do anything without the line. So when they’re on, I’m on,” Emery said. “Some routes were open and I was able to connect with some wide receivers.”

Emery just barely scored a touchdown at the end of the second quarter when an MSU player tackled him near the end zone. Emery managed to get the ball over the line at the last second.

“I was just trying to get to that goal line,” Emery said. “It felt great to stretch in there and make the play.”

In addition to Emery, sophomore Raymond Artist managed to get some points on the board for Oakland.

“When I scored I was kind of shocked, but then again, my team was counting on me, so I had to do what I had to do,” Artist said.

Despite the strong defense and offense that Oakland displayed, there were still a few challenges the Golden Grizzlies needed to overcome. In the second quarter, Menas tried to push a penalty during one of the punts because his punter is injured.

“What we were trying to do is back the ball up a little bit so [the punter] could try to edge it in the corner, so it will give us a little more room to make a punt,” Menas said. “Unfortunately, we [were] about a yard away from making that perfect, but in hindsight I felt comfortable knowing our defense would stop [MSU] even if we [got] in a low field position.”

The football team may be strong, but according to Menas, there are still a few things that need work.

“There’s always room for improvement,” he said. “This is our third game, and we’re now 3-0, and I think that the longer we play together, like any team, the cohesiveness will come. I think every week, everyday at practice, we’re getting closer to that.”

Oakland’s next game is Oct. 15 at 1 p.m. against the Ohio State Buckeyes Club at Jimmy John’s Field in Utica.