TRI-CITY AREA — The Lapeer County Lions opened the preseason portion of their schedule with an 18-6 triumph against the Lenawee County Crusaders in a North American Football League encounter last Saturday afternoon at Almont High School.
"It was exciting to get that win under our belt even if was just a preseason game," Lapeer County Lions' Coach Dan Pilgrim said. "We had about 100 fans show up and we are hoping to get an even bigger turnout for our next home contest," he noted.
"For us to be successful there we will have to cut down on our penalties and turnovers. Our defense was what kept us in the game and allowed us to to win."
Imlay City’s Trevor Montroy breaks off a long gain for the Lapeer County Lions as a Lenawee County Crusaders’ player pursues in Saturday’s game. photo by Kevin Kissane.
In Saturday's encounter, the Lapeer County Lions reached the scoreboard first. That happened when Adiano Bonfiglio (Capac) broke loose for a 36-yard touchdown run.
The Lapeer County Lions then tried to widen the gap via an accurate extra-point boot. However, the Lenawee County Crusaders blocked the effort.
That left the Lapeer County Lions holding a 6-0 edge with 7:40 showing on the first quarter clock.
The second quarter would see the Lapeer County Lions pad its cushion some.
It was there the hosts collected a two-yard touchdown run on a quarterback keeper by Robert Callahan (Flint Central). The try for two that followed, a pass play, was broken up by a Lenawee County defender.
That kept the Lapeer County Lions lead at 12-0. There was 2:55 remaining during quarter number two.
The remainder of half number one was scoreless.
It looked as if the Lapeer County Lions would coast to victory. Or so it seemed anyway.
Then, with 13:13 showing on the fourth quarter clock, the outcome was up for grabs once again when Lenawee County Crusaders' Alfred Taylor (Jackson) scooped up a fumble and raced 28 yards to paydirt.
The Lenawee County Crusaders then attempted an extra-point kick, but the effort went wide right. That kept the scoreboard count at 12-6.
The contest would remain close over the next 10 minutes-plus, with neither side giving an inch in their pursuit of a victory.
Then, with 52 ticks showing on the clock, Cody Halasz (Cass City) brought the home team's followers to their feet when he broke containment en route to a 52-yard touchdown run. The subsequent try for two, a pass play was denied.
That kept the scoreboard count at 18-6. It would prove the eventual final score.
In victory, Kenny Yelle (Lapeer West) paced the Lapeer County Lions' defense with 15 stops. Capac's Jose Vergara followed, amassing 11 tackles and two sacks. Davison's Jeff Tody (10 stops) and Capac's Dave Hibbert (eight tackles, a sack and one fumble recovery) made their presence felt as well.
The Lapeer County Lions will look to continue their winning ways this Saturday when it hosts the Detroit Diesel at Almont High School. That battle, a preseason contest, lists a 7 p.m. starting time.