ALMONT — Almont varsity football (no. 2, Division 6) fell for the first time, dropping a 21-7 verdict to visiting West Branch Ogemaw Heights (no. 9, Division 5) last Friday night.

With the decision, West Branch Ogemaw Heights moves to 8-1 overall. Almont slips to 8-1 this season.

Almont’s Matthew Bacholzky looks to elude a pair of defenders in Friday’s game.

“The boys played tough on a night that was about more than football,” Almont Coach James Leusby commented. “Unfortunately, our field conditions played a huge factor in the outcome of the game,” he noted.

“It definitely nullified our speed and quickness which are our strengths. As a coaching staff we will look at different strategies and ways to adapt to these conditions better in the future. We will now turn our attention to the playoffs and use the outcome of this game as motivation.”

In Friday’s battle, Almont and West Branch Ogemaw Heights finished quarter one with zero points each.

West Branch Ogemaw Heights then outscored Almont 7-0 during the second quarter of play.

The third quarter would prove scoreless.

West Branch Ogemaw Heights then outscored Almont 14-7 from that point on, assuring themselves of a 21-7 victory at night’s end.

Almont generated their seven-point output aided by a four-yard touchdown run by Luke Winkler (followed by a successful extra point kick courtesy of Sean O’Neil).

For the evening, Chase Davedowski completed two of six pass plays for 18 yards as Almont’s quarterback. He threw zero interception en route to those numbers.

His successful throws went to Chase Battani.

The Almont ground attack managed 80 yards on 42 totes.

Individually, Matthew Bacholzky (eight rushes for 55 yards) and Battani (20 yards on 10 totes) posted Almont’s best numbers. The remaining 24 Raider rushes netted a combined five-yard gain.

Ayden Ferqueron (four solos and nine assists) and Cohen Ferqueron (three solos and nine assists) provided the top Almont tackle outputs. Lucas Mantini (two solos and three assists) Brent Corneau and Battani (one solo and four assists each), Yousif Abu Joudeh (five), Winkler (three solos and one assist) and Jacob Fuller (one solo and three assists) supported their performances.

The Almont defense also registered one takeaway. Battani (an interception) notched that.

Almont will look to bounce back this Saturday when it entertains Clintondale in a Division 6, Region 4, District 1 opening round playoff contest. That matchup lists a 1 p.m. starting time.

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.