Almont falls to Kingsley at Ford Field, 38-24


ALMONT — Kingsley prevented Almont from capturing the first-ever state title by a Tri-City football team, registering a 38-24 triumph in the Division 6 championship game last Saturday afternoon.

Ford Field, in Detroit, is where the action unfolded.

With the decision, Kingsley closes out a 12-2 campaign. Almont watches an outstanding 12-2 season reach an endpoint.

“The opportunity to play at Ford Field was everything we hoped it would be,” Almont Coach James Leusby commented. “Unfortunately, the ending was not what we hoped for,” he noted.

Almont’s Chase Battani carries the football in his team’s Division 6 state title game Saturday.

“I know the team really wanted this title for our community, the school, our alumni and for ourselves. The boys played hard and gave it all they had in the end. It came down to Kingsley making a few more plays and getting a little more luck than we did.” He then reflected on his team’s successful season.

“I am super proud of how the boys played all season and responded through all the injuries and adversity that came our way,” Leusby said. “We will have a lot of work to do in the offseason if we hope to make another run at the BWAC title next fall with a loaded conference,” he noted.

“There will be no floating under the radar, and we will definitely be getting every team’s best effort. We would like to thank the community for all the support they have shown this team; through generous donations we were able to secure indoor practice time throughout the playoffs, enjoy team dinners, host a viewing party to see our draw in the MHSAA playoffs and do the little things for the players to make this run very special and memorable.”

In Saturday’s encounter, Almont spotted Kingsley a 6-0 edge after one quarter was over with.

Kingsley then followed it up with a 16-10 second quarter advantage, widening the gap to 22-10 at the half,

When the action resumed, Almont struck with a 7-0 third quarter deficit. That trimmed their deficit to 22-17 at the time.

Kingsley then delivered a touchdown and a two-point conversion, building their lead to 30-17.

To their credit, Almont refused to quit. The Raiders saw to that with a touchdown and a successful extra point kick with 7:55 to play, closing the gap to 30-24.

However, that proved as close as Almont would get.

Kingsley added a touchdown and a two-point conversion with 2:19 to play, putting the finishing touches on a 38-24 win.

Almont produced their 28-point total aided by a Sean O’Neil 28-yard field goal; an Ayden Ferqueron two-yard touchdown run (followed by a successful extra point kick courtesy O’Neil); a Chase Battani 65-yard touchdown run (followed by an accurate extra point boot from O’Neil); and a Chase Davedowski to Cole Walton 17-yard touchdown pass (followed by a successful extra point kick courtesy of O’Neil).

For the contest, Davedowski completed two of three pass plays for 40 yards as Almont’s quarterback. He threw zero interceptions along the way.

His successful tosses went to Luke Winkler (one catch for 23 yards) and Walton (one reception for 17 yards).

The Almont ground attack managed 151 yards on 24 totes.

Battani (nine rushes for 82 yards) and Jacob Stewart (25 yards on two totes) generated Almont’s best outputs. The remaining 13 Raider rushes netted a combined 44-yard gain.

Ayden Ferqueron (five solos and 12 assists), Battani (eight solos and seven assists), Cohen Ferqueron (four solos and 10 assists), and Lucas Mantini (three solos and five assists) contributed Almont’s highest tackle totals. They were backed by Isaiah Bankston (two solos and three assists), Winkler two solos and three assists), Jacob Fuller (two solos and two assists) and Matthew Bacholzky (three assists).

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.