Almont falls at home to Ovid-Elsie


ALMONT — The Almont varsity football team put up a good fight, only to drop a 21-14 verdict to Ovid-Elsie in a Division 6, Region 3, District 2 opening round playoff game it hosted last Friday night.

With the decision, Ovid-Elsie (8-2) advances to this Friday’s district championship battle where it will host Lansing Catholic (5-5). That matchup lists a 7 p.m. starting time. Almont sees a 6-4 season draw to a close.

“This was a battle all night long,” Almont Coach James Leusby commented. “It is tough to come out on the short end of this one but I know our kids played as hard as they could,” he noted.

“They can hold their heads high knowing that they left it all out on the field. A special thank you to our seniors for their leadership this season and all of the hard work they have put in over the course of their time in our program.”

Antonio Nedelkovski, of Almont, applies defensive pressure in Friday’s game.

In Friday’s game, Almont jumped out to a 7-0 advantage after one quarter was over with.

Quarter two would see Almont collect seven points as did Ovid-Elsie, leaving them up 14-7 at the halftime break.

That was followed by a scoreless third quarter.

Ovid-Elsie then made it 14-14 with 9:48 to play.

That score would remain unchanged until Ovid-Elsie went up 21-14 with 1:50 left.

On the ensuing possession, Almont (which had no timeouts remaining) moved the ball to the Ovid-Elsie 25 where a fourth-and-15 situation arose.

With about 30 seconds remaining, Almont dropped back to pass. Ovid-Elsie left them with no viable throwing options and their quarterback Trenton Kruse, who was scrambling in his effort to find an open receiver, was finally chased down and tackled.

Ovid-Elsie would then take over on downs. One snap later, the Marauders took a knee and ran out the clock.

The visiting side had held on for a narrow win.

Almont generated their 14-point output aided by a Matthew Measel 42-yard touchdown run (followed by a successful extra point kick courtesy of Sean O’Neil); and a Kruse one-yard touchdown run (followed by an accurate extra point boot from O’Neil).

For the night, Kruse completed four of 11 pass plays for 100 yards as Almont’s quarterback. He threw zero interceptions along the way.

His successful tosses went to two different targets Their ranks consisted of Measel (two catches for 63 yards) and Connor Nascivera (two receptions for 37 yards).

The Almont ground attack wound up with 208 yards on 34 totes.

Measel (13 rushes for 110 yards) and Chase Battani (75 yards on 10 totes) posted Almont’s top rushing totals. The remaining 11 Raider totes netted a combined 23-yard gain.

Tyler Filinger (seven solos and eight assists), Bryce Ferman and Ayden Ferqueron (two solos and 10 assists each), Battani (two solos and eight assists) and Kruse (three solos and six assists) generated the highest Almont tackle totals. They were backed by Yousif Abu-Joudeh (seven assists), Carson Wood (two solos and two assists), Cody Koval (one solos and three assists).

The Almont defense had five takeaways. Kruse and Ferman (an interception apiece) plus Nascivera, Battani and Ferqueron (a fumble recovery apiece) furnished those.

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.