Imlay City’s Julian Rojas scores a touchdown in Friday’s playoff game with Cros-Lex. Photo by Rod Soule


IMLAY CITY — The Imlay City football team put up a good fight, only to drop a 40-26 verdict to host Cros-Lex in a Division 4 opening round playoff matchup last Friday night.

With the decision, Cros-Lex (6-1) moves on to this Friday’s district semifinal clash at North Branch (7-0). That battle begins at 7 p.m. Imlay City sees a 4-3 campaign conclude.

“I am proud of the way this team battled through the adversity not just this week, but through the entire season,” Imlay City Coach Brian Tresnak said. “Not many people outside of the team gave us much of a chance,” he noted.

“We fought through the very end and left everything on the field Friday night. Thank you to my staff and my seniors for really stepping up this week and leading the team.”

In Friday’s matchup, Cros-Lex spotted Imlay City a 14-12 advantage after one quarter was done.

The middle two quarters saw Cros-Lex amass 22 points and Imlay City generate 12, leaving the hosts with a 34-26 lead to protect.

Cros-Lex then outscored Imlay City 6-0 from that point on, closing out a 40-26 win.

Imlay City generated their 26-point total thanks to a touchdown each by Cristian Rojas, Julian Rojas, Jack Kaplan and Dakota Sandzik plus a pair of accurate extra point kicks courtesy of Luther.

For the night, Kaplan completed three of 12 pass plays for 72 yards as Imlay City’s quarterback. He threw one interception along the way.

His accurate tosses went to two different players. Cristian Rojas (two catches for 45 yards) and Sandzik (one reception for 27 yards) formed that group.

The Imlay City ground attack managed 210 yards on 41 totes.

Individually, Kaplan (eight rushes for 68 yards) and Sandzik (58 yards on nine totes) headlined for Imlay City. Julian Rojas (12 rushes for 45 yards) and Cristian Rojas (36 yards on 10 totes) supported his performance. The remaining two Spartan rushes netted a combined three-yard gain.

Luther (three solos and 11 assists) and Lance Wolford (five solos and eight assists) paced Imlay City’s defense. They were backed by Jesse Weber (six assists) and Chris Cezik (one solo and five assists).

The Imlay City defense also registered three takeaways. Cristian Rojas, Webber and Cezik (a fumble recovery apiece) provided that.

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.