May 26 • 04:20 AM

Capac ends BWAC road drought with 9-0 victory against Imlay City

Joe Johnson, of Capac, follows his blockers during last Friday night’s Blue Water Area Conference football clash versus Imlay City. photo by Kevin Kissane.

September 17, 2008
TRI-CITY AREA — Capac earned their first postive Blue Water Area Conference road outcome since the 2003 campaign, accomplishing the feat with a 9-0 win at the expense of Imlay City's varsity football team last Friday night.

With the result, Capac goes to 2-1 and 1-1. Imlay City slips to 0-3 and 0-2.

"Our defense was key to the win," Capac Coach Tom Manney said. "Conrad Miracle, our defensive coordinator, should be proud of their performance tonight," he noted.

"I also was pleased with how our offense played during the last minutes of the game. To get the ball on our own one-yard line and take it all the way down the field to clinch the win was huge."

On the opposite sideline, Imlay City Coach John Forti wasn't nearly as pleased about his team's performance.

"We got the ball in position to score a few times," Forti said. "Our team just couldn't get the job done once we had the ball in the red zone," he noted.

"It was frustrating to watch. We just came up empty time and time again on our chances."

Following a scoreless opening quarter, Capac collected the game's first points when Joshua Kaiser split the uprights on a 32-yard field goal attempt. It came 57 ticks into the second quarter of play.

The next 11 minutes-plus would see the scoreboard count remain the same.

That left Capac holding a 3-0 edge at the halftime break.

Quarter number three offered no further clue as to which team would ultimately prevail.

That 12-minute stretch of football drew to a close with the scoreboard count frozen at 3-0.

Then, with just over seven minutes to play, Imlay City looked as if they were about to finally produce some points.

Imlay City had advanced the ball to Capac's one-yard line where a fourth-and-goal situation arose.

It was there Imlay City opted to forego a potential game-tieing field goal attempt.

Following a timeout, Imlay City's offense and Capac's defense dug in for a play which would go a long ways toward determining which side would prevail.

Imlay City came out in a Swinging Gate formation, thinking that ploy would catch Capac off guard.

The snap went to Imlay City quarterback Darren Saunders, who promptly dashed toward the endzone in hopes of putting his ballclub ahead for the first time.

Instead, Capac's defense drove him out of bounds at the one-yard line. The Chiefs would now take over on downs.

Thirteen plays and 99 yards later, Joe Johnson took a handoff from Jon Botwin and hit paydirt on a tote from a yard away. The extra-point kick failed to connect.

That left Capac holding a 9-0 advantage. There now was 1:33 remaining.

The ensuing Imlay City possession would last about 40 seconds.

Capac then ran out the clock, closing out a 9-0 win.

On the night, Botwin completed two of 11 pass plays for 10 yards as Capac's quarterback. He threw no interceptions en route to those numbers.

His successful tosses went to two different targets. Jacob Zuby (a 15-yard reception) and Johnson (one catch for a five-yard loss) formed that group.

The Capac ground attack finished with 298 yards on 56 totes.

Individually, Johnson (18 rushes for 89 yards) led the way. He was backed by Botwin (84 yards on 17 totes), Darren Hunsucker (eight rushes for 58 yards), Tony Medrano (31 yards on nine totes) and Zuby (four rushes for 19 yards).

Hunsucker (in on 14 stops) paced Capac's defense. Tom Bolday (nine tackles), Chee Vang and Zuby (in on eight tackles each) plus Nick Osborn and Arthur Andrade (six tackles apiece) supported his performance.

The Capac defense also registered two takeways. Brian Kulman (an interception) and Dave Shindak (a fumble recovery) supplied that.

In defeat, Saunders put up good numbers as Imlay City's quarterback. He completed 16 of 27 pass plays for 222 yards. Saunders was interecepted once en route to those numbers.

His successful passes were distributed to six different targets. Their ranks consisted of Adam Van Dyk (five catches for 117 yards), Cruz Medrano (four receptions for 35 yards), Nick Nivison (three catches for 17 yards), D.J. Salet (two receptions for 21 yards), Joey Christunas (one catch for 28 yards) and Alex Maldonado (one reception for four yards).

The Imlay City ground attack was held to 40 yards on 23 totes.

Individually, Saunders led the way with 15 rushes for 43 yards. Medrano followed, gaining five yards on seven totes. The remaining Spartan carry resulted in an eight-yard loss.

From a defensive standpoint, Saunders paced Imlay City with eight solo stops. Medrano and Mason Day added seven and six solo stops, respectively, to the Spartans' cause.

Capac returns to action this Friday when it hosts Blue Water Area counterpart Richmond, while Imlay City hits the highway the same evening to take on league foe Cros-Lex. Both contests list 7 p.m. starting times.

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