ALMONT — Almont (rated tied for fourth among Division 6 teams) finds themselves on the brink of obtaining the first-ever state title by a Tri-City Area football team.

They will look to make that happen this Saturday against Kingsley (also rated tied for fourth among Division 6 squads) in the state championship battle at Detroit’s Ford Field. That clash is slated to get underway at 4:30 p.m.

Chase Battani scores a touchdown for Almont in Saturday’s semifinal contest.

Kingsley, the second place team in the Northern Michigan Football Conference Legends Division, is coming off a 37-7 semifinal win against Constantine at Cadillac.

Prior to that, Kingsley had emerged victorious in 10 of 12 games. That run included a 46-12 non-league win against host Reed City; a 42-39 loss to visiting non-conference foe Gaylord; a 50-7 league road victory over Cheboygan; a 64-13 road triumph against non-conference counterpart Boyne City; a 44-21 win over visiting league rival Traverse City St. Francis; a 56-20 victory against visiting conference adversary Grayling; a 35-12 road setback to league foe Ogemaw Heights; a 65-12 road triumph against non-conference counterpart Comstock Park; a 58-8 win over visiting non-league rival Sparta; a 61-12 opening round playoff victory over visiting Mason County Central; a 37-18 district championship triumph against visiting Manistee; and a 51-27 regional title win over visiting Gladstone.

Almont, the Blue Water Area Conference Champion, enters the fray fresh off a 45-21 semifinal win against Ovid-Elsie at Grand Blanc.

Before that, Almont had triumphed in 11 of 12 clashes 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 at Richmond; a 40-38 overtime victory versus number one rated Warren Michigan Collegiate to secure a top district finish at home; and a 49-24 regional championship triumph against Detroit Edison at home.

Almont Coach James Leusby says his ballclub welcomes the formidable challenge that lies ahead of them.

“Kingsley is a mirror image of us,” Leusby commented. “They are a Wing T team and play a physical type of ball,” he noted.

“They have good running backs like we do. Their defense flies around and makes plays.”

Leusby has 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 (line) penciled in as his probable offensive starters.

He also is leaning towards 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 likely defensive starting group.

Kevin Kissane

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.