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September 19 • 06:37 PM
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Raiders grab share of title


Win over Capac also secures state playoff spot


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Jon Botwin, of Capac, scrambles for a first down as Almont’s Thomas Chilcote pursues in last Friday’s BWAC encounter. photo by Kevin Kissane.

October 22, 2008
TRI-CIY AREA — The Almont varsity football team (6-2, 5-2) clinched their third straight playoff appearance, accomplishing the feat with a 37-15 road triumph against Blue Water Area Conference rival Capac (4-4, 4-3) last Friday night.

With the outcome, Almont also claims a share of the BWAC title along with Cros-Lex, Yale and Richmond.

Had Cros-Lex outpointed Yale that evening, instead of Yale's unexpected 14-6 win, they would have earned the distinction of outright league champions.

"When the season started we had two goals," Almont Coach Jeremy Ferman said. "The first was to win the BWAC and the second was to return to the playoffs," he noted.

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"We had a few ups and downs along the way, but we were still able to get part of our first goal and all of our second goal. Tonight we came out strong and played as I knew we could."

On the opposite sideline, Capac Coach Tom Manney gave credit where it was due.

"Almont is extremely fast and a well coached team," Capac Coach Tom Manney acknowledged. "They jump-ed out to a 20-0 lead about 10 minutes into the contest to take control," he noted.

"I am proud that we were able to mount a comeback in the second half. We just gave up too many points early on and that led to our defeat."

In Friday's meeting, Almont bolted out to a 20-0 lead after one quarter was complete.

Almont followed it up with a 17-0 second quarter advantage.

That pushed Almont's cushion to 37-0 at the halftime break.

When the action resumed, Capac countered with a 2-0 third quarter edge.

That made it 37-2, Almont, with 36 minutes gone.

Capac then outscored Almont 13-0 from that point on, only to fall by a 37-15 count at night's end.

Almont produced their winning 37-point output thanks to a Neal Zott 87-yard kickoff return for a touchdown (followed by a successful extra-point kick courtesy of Ben McNally); an Addam Wierbicki eight-yard touchdown run; a Zott one-yard touchdown tote (followed by an accurate extra-point boot from McNally); a Wierbicki 58-yard touchdown run (followed by a successful extra-point kick courtesy of McNally); a McNally 34-yard field goal; and a McNally four-yard touchdown run (followed by an accurate Julian Burnmester extra-point boot). Those tallies came with 11:46 showing on the first quarter clock; 8:27 before the first quarter was to end; with 56 seconds showing on the first quarter clock; 10:19 before halftime; with 3:04 showing on the second quarter clock; and one second before halftime.

Capac logged their 15-point total aided by Jacob Zuby safety; a 12-yard touchdown run by James Morgan (followed by an accurate extra-point boot courtesy of Joshua Kaiser); and a Jon Botwin to Joe Johnson 39-yard touchdown pass. Those scores came with 3:43 showing on the third quarter clock; 11:29 before the fourth quarter was to end; and with 5:17 showing on the fourth quarter clock.

For the evening, Zott finished zero for three as Almont's quarterback. He threw one interception en route to those numbers.

The Almont ground attack managed 307 yards on 51 totes. Wierbicki (10 rushes for 93 yards), Steve McClure (72 yards on 16 totes), Garrett Savage (eight rushes for 52 yards), Kyle Pilarski (48 yards on five totes), Zott (six rushes for 38 yards) and John Eschenburg (14 yards on six totes) made that output possible.

Tom Chilcote led the Almont defense. Chilcote was credited with 15 solo stops. Dillon Melly (nine solos), Aaron Globie (six) and Ben Strouse (five) supported his performance.

Pat Russell (an interception) supplied the lone Almont takeaway.

On the evening, Botwin wound up five of 14 for 61 yards as Capac's quarterback. He threw one interception en route to those numbers.

His successful tosses were distributed to four different targets. Their ranks consisted of Johnson (two catches for 45 yards), Darren Hunsucker (one reception for seven yards), John Richards (one catch for six yards) and Cody Rosseau (one reception for three yards).

The Capac ground attack added 130 yards on 34 totes.

Individually, Botwin (six rushes for 41 yards) and Morgan (40 yards on 11 totes) put up Capac's best numbers. Johnson followed, rushing the ball nine times for 36 yards. The remaining eight Chief totes netted a combined 13-yard gain.

Nick Osborn (in on 13 stops) paced Capac's defense. Eddie Niemi (in on six stops), plus Joe Schram, Darren Hunsucker and Chee Vang (in on five stops each) backed his effort.

Hunsucker (an interception) collected the lone Capac takeaway.

Almont returns to action this Friday when it entertains non-conference foe Cass City, while Capac travels to Flint Hamady for a non-league clash. Both games list 7 p.m. starting times.

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