Raiders win fourth Regional title in school history


ALMONT — Fourth-ranked Almont rolled to a lopsided 49-24 win against eighth-rated Detroit Edison in a Division 6 regional championship matchup it hosted last Friday night.

It marked the fourth regional title in school history, the others coming during the 2011, 2014 and 2019 campaign.

With the decision, Almont (11-1) continues their postseason path this Saturday against Ovid-Elsie at Grand Blanc High School. That battle lists a 1 p.m. start time. Detroit Edison concludes an 8-4 campaign.

Almont’s Gordon Stoleckl pressures the Detroit Edison quarterback in Friday’s Division 6 regional title clash versus Detroit Edison.

“We started off a little slow on offense until we figured out what Edison was doing defensively, “Almont Coach James Leusby commented. “After that we just started rolling,” he noted.

“Assistant Coach John Forti’s game plan was right on and the players executed it to a tee. Defensively, we were dialed in all game. I am proud of how the boys came out to play after such a big win the week before.”

In Friday’s matchup, Almont took a 7-0 edge after one quarter was done.

The second quarter saw Almont accumulate 28 points and Detroit Edison manage none, good for a 35-0 lead at the half.

When the action resumed, Detroit Edison struck with an 8-7 third quarter edge. That trimmed their deficit to 42-8 at the time.

Detroit Edison then put together a 16-7 fourth quarter rally, only to drop a 49-24 verdict.

Almont generated their winning 49-point total aided by a Luke Winkler five-yard touchdown run (followed by a successful extra point kick from Sean O’Neil); a Chase Davedowski to Cole Walton 10-yard touchdown pass (followed by an accurate extra point boot courtesy of O’Neil); a Davedowski to Winkler 13-yard touchdown pass (followed by a successful extra point kick from O’Neil); a Jonny Gjoka 14-yard touchdown run (followed by an accurate extra point boot courtesy of O’Neil); a Gjoka six-yard touchdown run (followed by a successful extra point kick from O’Neil); a Gjoka 32-yard run (followed by an accurate extra point boot courtesy of O’Neil); and a 15-yard touchdown run by Chase Battani (followed by a successful extra point kick from O’Neil).

For the evening, Davedowski completed four of four pass plays for 50 yards. He threw zero interceptions along the way.

His successful tosses went to three different targets. Winkler (two catches for 21 yards), Battani (one reception for 19 yards) and Walton (one catch for 10 yards) formed that group.

The Almont ground attack wound up with 311 yards on 42 totes.

Gjoka (13 rushes for 138 yards), Battani (103 yards) and Matthew Bacholzky (six rushes for 46 yards) led Almont. The remaining 14 Raider totes netted a 24-yard gain.

Battani (three solos and five assists), Nolan Maxlow (six solos and one assist) and Cohen Ferqueron (three solos and four assists) put up Almont’s best tackle totals. Dustin Claeys (two solos and three assists), Jacob Fuller (three solos and one assist) and Bacholzky (two solos and two assists) made their presence felt as well.

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.