ALMONT — The Almont varsity football team was outlasted, 20-14, by host North Branch in a Blue Water Area Conference game last Friday night.

With the decision, North Branch moves to 3-2 and 2-2. Almont slips to 3-2 and 3-1.

“This was a great atmosphere for high school football but it was a tough way for the game to end for us,” Almont Coach James Leusby commented. “North Branch controlled the ball for a large part of the game which prevented us from getting in an offensive rhythm,” he noted.

“Our defense played well and our kids battled all the way to the final play of the game. I am proud of the effort but we will have to get back to work to realize our potential.”

In Friday’s game, Almont and North Branch ended the initial quarter with zero points each.

Quarter two saw Almont collect seven points as did North Branch.

Almont’s Mason Smith heads up the field with blocking help from Luke McIntosh.

That was followed by scoreless third quarter of play.

Almont and North Branch then struck with seven points apiece during quarter number four, making it a 14-14 ballgame at the end of regulation.

North Branch then outscored Almont 6-0 in overtime, pulling out a 20-14 victory.

Almont produced their 14-point total aided by a Matthew Measel 19-yard interception return for a touchdown (followed by an accurate extra point boot from Kaiden SaintOnge); and a Brock Conger four-yard touchdown run (followed by a successful extra point kick courtesy of SaintOnge).

For the evening, Conger completed zero of seven pass plays for zero yards as Almont’s quarterback. He threw zero interceptions along the way.

The Almont ground attack wound up with 112 yards on 33 totes.

Mason Smith and Blake Bunch (10 rushes for 51 yards each) logged Almont’s top individual totals. The remaining 13 Raider totes netted a combined 10-yard gain.

Tyler Filinger (two solos and 10 assists) paced Almont as far as tackles were concerned. He was backed by Bryce Ferman (five solos and six assists), Brandon Hunsaker (11 assists), Smith (four solos and three assists), Isaiah Bankston (seven assists), Joseph Abramovitch (one solo and five assists) plus Trenton Kruse and Ayden Ferqueron (six assists each)

Measel (an interception) furnished the lone Almont takeaway.

Almont will look to bounce back this Friday when it entertains Blue Water Area Conference rival Cros-Lex. The contest, Almont’s homecoming, is scheduled for 7 p.m.

Kevin Kissane

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.