June 18 • 03:05 AM

Almont derails Cros-Lex, 40-26

Raiders blur BWAC title picture

Garrett Savage, of Almont, heads for a first down during his team’s BWAC football showdown versus Cros-Lex last Friday night. photo by Kevin Kissane.

October 01, 2008
ALMONT — The Almont varsity football team saw to it that the Blue Water Area Conference championship would remain up for grabs, accomplishing the feat with a 40-26 triumph against visiting Cros-Lex in a league showdown last Friday night.

With the decision, Almont goes to 4-1 and 3-1. Cros-Lex drops to 4-1 and 3-1.

The outcome also creates a logjam atop the BWAC standings as Almont, Cros-Lex, Yale and Richmond all sport identical league showings thus far.

"This was a game we had to have if we were to have any chance of repeating as BWAC champions," Almont Coach Jeremy Ferman said. "Now we find ourselves in the middle of what should be a good fight for the title," he noted.

"It was a total team effort. Tonight we got the job done on both sides of the football."

In Friday's much-awaited showdown, Almont put up the first points. That happened when Steve McClure broke loose for a 18-yard touchdown run with 7:35 showing on the first quarter clock.

The extra-point kick failed to connect, keeping the Raiders' lead at 6-0.

Almost one full quarter later, Almont scored again. This time Garrett Savage hit paydirt, delivering a touchdown tote from three yards away 7:15 before the opening half was to end.

The home team then tried to add to its cushion with a two-pointer, only to have their rushing attempt fall short of the endzone. That left Almont holding a 12-0 edge at the time.

Just 3:26 later, Cros-Lex collected their first points when Cameron Barrett hit David Soflin with a 38-yard touchdown pass.

The extra-point kick which followed proved unsuccesful.

That made it 12-6, Almont, with 3:49 to play until halftime.

Almont then bounced back, getting a Neal Zott touchdown tote from one yard away.

The try for two which followed, a run, was denied by Cros-Lex's defense.

That kept Almont's cushion at 18-6. There was now 35 seconds remaining until halftime arrived.

It looked as if Almont would head into the lockerroom with a 12-point lead, but Cros-Lex had other ideas.

Instead, Cros-Lex marched the ball down the field quickly. Their drive drew to a close with a Barrett to Noah Lazurka touchdown pass covering four yards of territory.

Barrett followed it up with an accurate extra-point kick.

That closed Cros-Lex's deficit to 18-13 with five seconds remaining until halftime.

The remainder of the second quarter was scoreless.

When the action resumed, Almont's offense took the field first. Their initial series of the second half would come away scoreless.

Cros-Lex's opening drive of the second half would meet with a much better outcome. It ended with a Soflin touchdown tote from four yards out.

The PAT bid, a pass, fell incomplete.

That left Cros-Lex clinging to a 19-18 edge at the time.

Their advantage would hold up for 2:34.

Almont bounced back with a 44-yard touchdown run by Garrett Savage, his dash happening 4:13 before the third quarter was to end.

Savage added a successful PAT run, giving his team a 26-19 advantage.

Not content with that cushion, Almont increased their lead to 33-19 on a 43-yard touchdown run by McClure and accurate extra-point kick courtesy of Ben McNally 6:23 from the finish.

Cros-Lex then closed the gap to 33-26, thanks to a five-yard touchdown pass from Barrett to Andrew Bringard and a Barrett accurate extra-point boot with 4:10 showing on the fourth quarter clock.

That kept the outcome up for grabs a bit longer, but Almont wasn't about to let all of that cushion disappear.

Almont made sure of that, collecting an Addam Wierbicki seven-yard touchdown tote and a McNally accurate extra-point kick 2:44 from the finish.

That made it 40-26, Almont, the eventual final score.

On the evening, Zott completed two of four pass plays for 56 yards as Almont's quarterback. He threw zero interceptions en route to those numbers.

Pat Russell (one catch for 33 yards) and Dillon Melly (one reception for 23 yards) were the targets Zott hit.

The Almont ground attack proved a force to be reckoned with, evidenced by their 405 yards on 54 totes.

Individually, McClure (18 rushes for 154 yards) and Savage (109 yards on 12 totes) put up Almont's best numbers. Zott (11 rushes for 90 yards) and Wierbicki (52 yards on 13 totes) followed.

Ben Strouse and Tom Chilcote paced Almont's defense with nine solo stops each. Wierbicki (eight solo tackles), Melly (five) along with Jake Ferrell, Zott and McClure (four each) made their whereabouts felt as well.

Almont will look to continue their winning ways this Friday when they travel to Imlay City for a Blue Water Area Conference encounter. That game lists a 7 p.m. starting time.

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