TRI-CITY AREA — Almont jumped out to 35-0 halftime advantage and went on from there to register a 42-17 triumph against host Imlay City in a Blue Water Area Conference varsity football encounter last Friday night.
With the decision, Almont improves to 3-0 and 1-0. Imlay City slips to 0-3 and 0-2.
“We had a solid first half tonight and took some steps forward again this week,” Almont Coach James Leusby said. “Our young guys got an opportunity to play tonight which will pay dividends down the road,” he noted.
“We have a long road ahead of us to reach our goals so we will get back to work.”
In Friday’s encounter, Almont took a 7-0 edge after one quarter was over with.
They then followed it up with a 28-0 second quarter advantage, increasing their cushion to 35-0 at the half.
Quarter three would prove scoreless.
Imlay City then put together a 17-7 fourth quarter rally, only to fall short 42-17.
Almont generated their winning 42-point output aided by a Trenton Kruse to Cole Walton 40-yard touchdown pass (followed by a successful extra point kick courtesy of Sean O’Neil); a Chase Battani three-yard touchdown run (followed by an accurate extra point boot from O’Neil); a Matthew Measel 60-yard touchdown run (followed by a successful extra point kick courtesy of O’Neil); a Tyler Filinger blocked kick return 33 yards for a touchdown (followed by an accurate extra point boot from O’Neil); a Bryce Ferman five-yard touchdown return (followed by a successful extra point kick courtesy of O’Neil); and a Jacob Fuller 79-yard kickoff return for a touchdown (followed by an accurate extra point boot from O’Neil).
Imlay City produced their 17-point total courtesy of a Brady Vanderploeg 28-yard touchdown run (followed by an accurate extra point boot from Andrew Cezik); a Vanderploeg 20-yard touchdown run (followed by a successful extra point kick courtesy of Cezik); and a 21-yard field goal from Cezik.
Kruse (two for six for 49 yards and Caydon Nascivera (one for one for 20 yards) shared the quarterback responsibilities for Almont.
Walton (two catches for 49 yards) and Luke Winkler (one reception for 20 yards) hauled in their successful tosses.
The Almont ground attack managed 264 yards on 36 totes.
Measel (eight rushes for 121 yards) and Battani 60 yards on eight totes) proved Almont’s toughest players to stop. The remaining 20 Raider rushes gained a total of 83 yards.
Cayden DuRall (five solos and five assists) plus Josh Mroz and Naim Janineh (six assists each) notched Almont’s highest tackle outputs. Fuller (two solos and two assists), Aiden Oliphant (one solo and three assists) and Eric Haddon (four assists) backed their efforts.
Vanderploeg completed five of 13 attempts for 91 yards as Imlay City’s quarterback.
Imlay City also connected on one of three other pass plays for eight yards.
Kade Vanderploeg (three catches for 33 yards), Tanner Land (one catch for 33 yards), Danny Newsom (one reception for 27 yards) and Dalton Sands (one catch for six yards) registered Imlay City’s receptions.
Brady Vanderploeg (14 rushes for 150 yards), Cezik (52 yards on seven totes) and Land (two rushes for eight yards) proved Imlay City’s most productive ballcarriers.
Brady Redd (three solos and seven assists) paced Imlay City’s defense. He was backed by Land (two solos and four assists), Brady Vanderploeg (three solos and two assists), George Amjos (four solos and one assist), Travis Dupont (two solos and three assists), Cezik (five assists) and Latham Perry (three solos and one assist).
Almont returns to action this Friday when it entertains North Branch, while Imlay City looks to bounce back with an away game versus Armada. Both BWAC contests list 7 p.m. starting times.
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.