ALMONT — The Almont varsity football team kicked off what they hope will be a lengthy postseason run, earning a 35-0 win at host Clawson’s expense in a Division 6, Region 4, District 1 district semifinal playoff game last Friday night.

With the outcome, Almont (6-4) advances to this Friday’s district championship clash versus Warren Michigan Collegiate (8-2) at Madison Heights Bishop Foley High School. That matchup lists a 7 p.m. starting time. Clawson ends their season as owners of a 7-3 mark.

Mason Smith follows Almont teammate Luke McIntosh up the field for a long gain during his team’s 35-0 Div. 6 playoff win against Clawson last Firday night.

“We did what we set out to do by controlling the ball and controlling the clock,” Almont Coach James Leusby said. “It was difficult for Clawson to get anything going on offense when we had the ball for most of the first half,” he noted.

“I’m proud of our kids for battling through the weather and getting the job done. Despite the wind and rain, we had another great crowd travel with us and we appreciate that more than we can express. We will have our work cut out for us regardless of the next opponent.”

In Friday’s game, Almont and Clawson would end the initial quarter with zero points each.

The next 12-minute stretch would see Almont amass 21 points, while holding Clawson to none.

When the action resumed, Almont picked up where it left off. Aided by a 7-0 third quarter edge, the Raiders widened the gap to 28-0 with 36 minutes gone.

Almont then outscored Clawson 7-0 the rest of the way, closing out a 35-0 win.

The victorious Almont side generated their 35-point output aided by a five-yard touchdown run by Blake Bunch (followed by a successful extra point kick courtesy of Kaiden SaintOnge); a Brock Conger to Connor Nascivera 14-yard touchdown pass (followed by an accurate extra point boot from SaintOnge); a Conger to Connor Nascivera 25-yard touchdown pass (followed by a successful extra point kick courtesy of SaintOnge); a Mason Smith 10-yard touchdown run (followed by an accurate extra point boot from SaintOnge); and a Josh Fuller seven-yard touchdown run (followed by a successful extra point kick courtesy of SaintOnge).

On the night, Conger completed two of three pass plays for 39 yards as Almont’s quarterback. He threw zero interceptions en route to those numbers.

His successful tosses went to Connor Nascivera.

The Almont ground attack chewed up 301 yards of territory on 51 totes.

Smith (15 rushes for 139 yards) proved Almont’s most productive ballcarrier. Friday’s performance put him 2,000 yards for his high school career.

Blake Bunch notched Almont’s second best rushing total versus Clawson. He finished with 59 yards on 12 totes. The remaining 24 Raider rushes netted a combined 103-yard gain.

Brandon Hunsaker (eight assists) registered Almont’s top tackle output. Isaiah Bankston (one solo and three assists), Bryce Ferman (one solo and two assists) and Ayden Ferqueron (three assists) supported his performance.

Almont also collected two takeaways en route to the favorable verdict. Caydon Nascivera and Josh Mroz (a fumble recovery each) furnished those.

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.