ALMONT — Almont (listed tied for fourth with Kingsley statewide) now stands just one win away from playing for the Division 6 state football title.
Almont will get the opportunity to punch their title to Ford Field when they square off against unranked Ovid-Elsie this Saturday at Grand Blanc High School. That matchup lists a 1 p.m. starting time.
Ovid-Elsie, the fourth place team in the Mid-Michigan Activities Conference, enters the upcoming battle coming off a 38-25 road win against second-rated Constantine.
Before that, Ovid-Elsie prevailed in eight of 10 games. That stretch featured a 33-6 loss to visiting non-league foe Portland; a 61-14 win against visiting conference counterpart Lakeville; a 35-15 road victory over league adversary Durand; a 29-22 setback to visiting conference rival Montrose; a 42-16 triumph against visiting non-league foe Shepherd; a 28-19 road setback to conference counterpart Chesaning; a 14-13 loss to visiting league adversary New Lothrop; a 34-6 win over conference rival Mt. Morris; a 28-27 victory against visiting non-league foe Standish-Sterling; a 14-3 opening round playoff triumph against visiting Ida; and a 42-13 district championship win over visiting Lansing Catholic.
Almont, the Blue Water Area Conference Champion, is coming off a 49-24 regional championship victory over visiting Detroit Edison.
Prior to that, Almont had triumphed in nine of 10 gridiron confrontations. That run included a 39-0 win against visiting non-league counterpart Marysville; a 49-0 road victory over league adversary Algonac; a 58-0 triumph against visiting conference rival Imlay City; a 29-22 road win over league foe North Branch; a 13-12 victory over visiting conference counterpart Armada; a 30-20 triumph over visiting conference adversary Cros-Lex; a 42-7 road win against league rival Richmond; a 47-19 road victory over conference foe Yale; a 21-7 loss to non-league adversary West Branch Ogemaw Heights; a 35-8 opening round triumph against Clintondale; and a 40-38 overtime victory versus number one rated Warren Michigan Collegiate to secure a top district finish.
Leusby is well aware that his ballclub will need to sustain their high level of postseason play to continue their path.
“We will now focus on Ovid-Elsie which is a team that is playing their best ball of the year right now,” Leusby commented. “They beat us last year in the first round of the playoffs and we are looking to change the outcome this time around,” he noted.
Leusby lists Chase Davedowski (quarterback), Brent Corneau (tight end), Cole Walton (split end), Matthew Bacholzky (running back), Chase Battani (running back), Jacob Fuller (running back), Luke Winkler (running back), Isaiah Bankston (line), Dylan Taylor (line), Gavin Szymanski (line) and Noah Campbell as his likely offensive starters.
He lists Corneau (line), Gordon Stolecki (line), Liam Szymanski (line), Josh Figurski (line), Lucas Mantini (defensive back), Bacholzky (defensive back), Winkler (defensive back), Cohen Ferqueron (linebacker), Ayden Ferqueron (linebacker), Battani (linebacker), Fuller (linebacker) as his probable defensive starting group.
The victor of Saturday’s confrontation will meet the survivor of a clash between Kingsley (10-2) and 11th-rated Reed City (9-3) in the Division 6 title game.
The encounter is set for Saturday, November 25 at Ford Field. That battle is scheduled for 4:30 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.