ALMONT — Almont wound up on the losing side of a 34-14 outcome versus visiting North Branch in a Blue Water Area Conference varsity football battle last Friday night.
With the outcome, North Branch moves to 4-0 and 3-0. Almont slips to 3-1 and 1-1.
“All credit goes to North Branch tonight,” Almont Coach James Leusby commented. “That is a big and physical football team and they earned it out on the the field,” he noted.
“We had our opportunities but North Branch controlled the clock and that was the difference.”
In Friday’s battle, Almont and North Branch ended the initial quarter with zero points each.
Quarter two saw North Branch manage 12 points and Almont generate none.
When the action resumed, Almont struck with a 7-6 third quarter edge. That trimmed their deficit to 18-7 with 36 minutes gone.
North Branch then outscored Almont 16-7 the rest of the way, finishing off a 34-14 win.
Almont generated their 14-point total aided by a Bryce Ferman three-yard touchdown run (followed by a successful extra point kick courtesy of Sean O’Neill) and a Trenton Kruse to Matthew Measel 17-yard touchdown pass (followed by an accurate extra point boot from O’Neil.
For the night, Kruse completed six of 12 pass plays for 67 yards as Almont’s quarterback. He threw one interception along the way.
His successful tosses went to three different targets. Their ranks consisted of Measel (three catches for 49 yards), Ferman (two receptions for 11 yards) and Chase Battani (one catch for seven yards).
The Almont ground attack amassed 209 yards on 27 totes.
Individually, Battani (seven rushes for 142 yards) and Ferman (55 yards on seven totes) put up Almont’s best numbers. The remaining 13 Raider rushes netted a combined 12-yard gain.
Ayden Ferqueron (eight solos and three assists) and Tyler Filinger (four solos and seven assists) posted Almont’s top tackle outputs. Cody Koval and Josh Mroz (one solo and six assists each), Battani (two solos and three assists), Antonio Nedelkovski and Caydon Nascivera (five assists apiece) and Ferman (two solos and two assists) supported their performances.
The Almont defense also registered one takeaway. Jacob Fuller (a fumble recovery) furnished that.
Almont will look to bounce back this Friday when it travels to Armada for a Blue Water Area Conference clash. That contest is slated to get underway at 7 p.m.
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.