ALMONT — The Almont football team will once again look to continue their postseason path this Friday when it travels to Marine City for a Division 5, Region 3, District 2 championship championship game.
East China Stadium will provide the venue for the contest which lists a 7 p.m. starting time.
Marine City, the Macomb Area Conference Silver champion, enters the fray fresh off a 55-0 win against Mount Morris at home.
Prior to that, Marine City emerged victorious in nine out of nine gridiron confrontations. That stretch included a 42-7 win against Sterling Heights at home; a 47-14 road victory over St. Clair Shores South Lake; a 55-6 road triumph against Hazel Park; a 35-10 win over Madison Heights Madison at home; a 42-0 victory against Eastpointe at home; a 44-6 road triumph versus Clawson; a 35-10 win over St. Clair at home; a 34-3 road victory against Marysville; and a 47-6 triumph over Warren Lincoln at home.
Almont, the Blue Water Area Conference champion, is coming off a 30-20 road triumph at Richmond.
Before that, Almont prevailed in nine out of nine contests. That run featured a 54-6 win against New Haven at home; a 56-7 victory over Imlay City at home; a 35-0 triumph at Algonac; a 61-20 win at North Branch; a 42-0 victory over Cros-Lex at home; a 48-14 triumph against Armada at home; a 49-0 road win over Yale; and a 50-12 victory against Clio at home.
Leusby knows the assignment his team faces next is a formidable one.
“The boys are excited to be advancing to the next round of the MHSAA playoffs,” Almont Coach James Leusby said. “We can’t wait to get to work this week,” he noted.
“We know Marine City will be tough to beat at home, but the players are excited to play on turf and have good footing. We are hoping the whole town comes out Friday to what should be a great game between two small town schools that play a good brand of football.”
Leusby lists Josh Hellebuyck (quarterback), Michael Lulgjuraj (running back), Jack Paupert (running back), Mason Smith (running back), Brandon Hunsaker (fullback/guard), Derek Johnston (center), Jacob Hausmann (guard), Nathan Kerby (tackle), Carson Tennant (tackle), Jackson Malcolm (tight end) and Colby Schapman (split end) as his potential offensive starters.
He projects Nolan Panduren (end), Meric Okoniewski (end), Lane Jackson (tackle), Michael Rinke (tackle), Landon Kruse (linebacker), Blake Kapron (linebacker), Hausmann (linebacker), Caleb Weigand (back), Jacob Castillo (back), Paupert (back) and Schapman (back) as possible defensive starters.
The winner of this Friday’s clash will meet the survivor of a battle between Frankenmuth (9-1) and Saginaw Swan Valley (7-3) the following Friday or Saturday for the regional title.
Kevin Kissane has been covering high school sports for the Tri-City Times since 1985. When not standing on a field or court with his camera and notepad, he enjoys golf, travel and family. Kevin is a 1980 graduate of Capac High School, and is also a grad of St. Clair Community College and earned a degree in journalism from Central Michigan University.