ALMONT — Brock Conger hit Michael Lulgjuraj with a 10-yard touchdown pass on third down during overtime, lifting host Almont to a dramatic 28-25 victory over visiting Richmond in a Blue Water Area Conference battle last Friday night.
With the decision, Almont raises its mark to 2-1 overall and against BWAC counterparts. Richmond slips to 1-4 this season and versus league foes.
“I am proud of our kids tonight,” Almont Coach James Leusby said. “We didn’t really know what to expect after having two weeks off from football,” he noted.
“They really dug down deep and found a way to get the job done. It wasn’t pretty but we made the plays we needed to. All credit to Richmond for battling back in the second half, but we are glad to be moving forward with a win.”
In Friday’s battle, Almont and Richmond ended the opening quarter with seven points each.
Quarter two saw Almont amass 12 points and Richmond manage none, good for a 19-7 advantage at the half.
When play resumed, Richmond struck with a 7-0 third quarter edge. That trimmed their deficit to 19-14 at the time.
Richmond then followed it up with an 8-3 fourth quarter advantage, making it a 22-22 ballgame at the end of regulation play.
In overtime, Richmond got the ball first. It was there the Blue Devils capitalized with an accurate field goal attempt, taking a 25-22 lead.
Almont then countered with a touchdown, pulling out a 28-25 victory.
During regulation, Almont used a Brock Conger eight-yard touchdown run (followed by an accurate extra point boot from Brandon Hunsaker); a Blake Bunch two-yard touchdown run; a Conger to Noah Houvener 22-yard touchdown pass; and a Hunsaker 27-yard field goal to generate their 22-point total.
For the night, Conger completed three of six pass plays for 54 yards as Almont’s quarterback. He threw zero interceptions en route to those numbers.
His successful tosses went to two different targets. Their ranks consisted of Houvener (two catches for 44 yards) and Lulgjuraj (one reception for 10 yards).
The Almont ground attack chewed up 234 yards of territory on 53 totes.
Lulgjuraj (23 rushes for 154 yards) and Mason Smith (34 yards on nine totes) proved Almont’s toughest players to stop. The remaining 21 Raider rushes netted a combined 46-yard gain.
Bunch (two solos and four assists), Landon Kruse and Nolan Panduren (two solos and three assists each), Hunsaker (one solo and four assists) and Corey Webster (five assists) paced Almont’s defense. Trenton Kruse (three solos and one assist), Smith (two solos and two assists) and Ayden Ferqueron (one solo and three assists) made their presence felt as well.
Almont will look to continue their winning ways this Friday when they travel to Imlay City for a BWAC game. The contest, the regular season finale for both combatants, lists a 7 p.m. starting time.
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.