IMLAY CITY — The Imlay City varsity football team came very close to pulling off a stunning victory, falling 29-26 to visiting Cros-Lex in a Blue Water Area Conference battle last Thursday night.
With the outcome, Cros-Lex goes to 2-0 and 1-0. Imlay City slips to 0-2 and 0-1.
"I was proud of our team and the effort they gave throughout the game," Imlay City Coach Steve Lestage said. "We played hard with Cros-Lex for four quarters." he noted.
"Our program took a step in the right direction this evening."
In Thursday's battle, Cros-Lex jumped out to a 15-0 advantage after one quarter was done.
Imlay City's Hunter Galbraith leaps to make a catch versus Cros-Lex last Thursday. photo by Rod Soule.
Quarter two saw Imlay City bounce back with a 14-6 edge, whittling their deficit to 21-14 at the halftime break.
When the action resumed, Imlay City inched even closer. Aided by a 6-0 third quarter edge, the Spartans trimmed their deficit to 21-20 with 36 minutes gone.
Cros-Lex then outscored Imlay City 8-6 the rest of the way, finishing off a 29-26 win.
For the evening, Forti connected on 26 of 42 pass plays for 369 yards as Imlay City's quarterback. He threw four touchdown passes and en route to those numbers.
His successful tosses were distributed to four different targets. Their ranks consisted of Bannister (nine catches for 86 yards and a two-point conversion pass), Curtis Homer (seven receptions for 156 yards and two touchdown catches), Noah Galbraith (five catches for 65 yards and a pair of touchdown receptions), Luke Stephens (four receptions for 60 yards) and Manny Ortiz (one catch for two yards).
The Imlay City ground attack added 16 yards on 10 totes.
Individually, Manny Ortiz (nine rushes for 16 yards) paced Imlay City. The remaining Spartan carry netted no gain.
Bannister (nine solos and five assists) and Ortiz (five unassisted stops and nine assists) registered Imlay City's top defensive credentials. Jesse Heber (three solos and four assists) supported their performances.
The Imlay City defense also notched four takeaways. Bannister (an interception) plus Wesley Hampton, Hunter Mullins and Joe Harper (a fumble recovery each) supplied those.
Imlay City will look to bounce back this Friday when it entertains Blue Water Area Conference adversary Algonac. That game is slated to get underway at 7 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.