June 27 • 05:12 AM

Dryden, Almont to kick off the irrespective football playoff runs

October 29, 2008
TRI-CITY AREA — When the 2008 football playoffs get underway this week, there will be a pair of Tri-City squads showcasing their well honed gridiron skills.

That is because Dryden (Division 7) and Almont (Division 5) have earned the right to see how they stack up among their peers in the hunt for a possible state title.

Dryden begins its pursuit this Friday when it hosts a Division 7, Region 4, District 1 opening round game versus Memphis, while Almont entertains Madison Heights Madison in a Division 5, Region 4, District 1 opening round clash on Saturday. Those matchups list starting times of 7 and 2 p.m, respectively.

Memphis, the North Central Thumb League runnerup, heads into the battle coming off a 16-6 win against visiting visiting Brown City.

Prior to that, Memphis took seven out of eight encounters. That stretch included a 26-8 victory over Armada; a 51-6 triumph against Carsonville-Port Sanilac; a 20-14 double overtime triumph against Kinde North Huron; a 42-7 win over Kingston; a 48-0 victory over Owen-Gage; a 22-19 loss to Dryden; a 49-39 triumph against Peck; and a 55-6 win over Akron-Fairgrove.

Geno Volante, of Dryden, looks to elude Burr Oak’s Michael Lung in last Saturday’s matchup. photo by Kevin Kissane.

Dryden, the North Central Thumb League champions and listed sixth among Division 7 squads statewide according to the latest Associated Press poll, enters the contest coming off a 43-8 homefield victory over Burr Oak on Saturday.

That outcome left Dryden holding a 9-0 overall record. It was the first time a Cardinal ballclub has ended the regular season with that many wins to their credit.

Prior to their latest victory, Dryden had reeled off eight straight wins. That run included a 35-6 win against Mayville; a 52-6 victory over Kingston; a 46-8 triumph against Owen-Gage; a 42-26 win over Peck; a 44-6 victory against Akron-Fairgrove; a 22-19 triumph over Memphis; a 52-0 win against North Huron; a 60-7 victory over Carsonville-Port Sanilac.

"We are very proud of the guys for going 9-0," Dryden Coach Brian Tresnak said. "At the same time, we can't afford to get too full of ourselves," he noted.

Tresnak is well aware that the team Dryden is about to face will bring everything they have to field when game time rolls around.

"In order to win, we need to play with more intensity and focus than we had when we faced them the first time," Tresnak commented. "We were their only loss and I'm sure they would love to get payback, especially on our field. We need to focus on playing our brand of football, which means controlling the tempo of the game. Long sustained drives on offense and three and outs on defense will enable us to keep the ball out of Jay Hayes' hands."

Tresnak projects Cody Paupert (quarterback), Eric Tietz (halfback), Chad Butler (halfback), Allen Clark (fullback), Joe Battisti (tight end), Matt Lynch (tight end), Frank Calabro (tackle), Nate Forrest (tackle), Kyle Bailey (guard), Brian Ladner (guard) and Nick Vicari (center) as his probable offensive starters.

On the opposite side of the football, Tresnak has Calabro (end), Battisti (end), Evan Crean (tackle), Forrest (tackle), Tietz (outside linebacker), Lynch (outside linebacker), Bailey (middle linebacker), Clark (middle linebacker), Butler (cornerback), Geno Volante (cornerback) and Paupert (safety).

The winner of this Friday's matchup advances to the district championship where it will face the survivor of a game between Genesee (6-3) and second-rated Ubly (9-0).

That contest is slated for either November 7 or 8.

Just a few miles away, Almont will entertain a Madison Heights Madison team which has ousted them from the playoffs the past two seasons.

Almont, who shared the Blue Water Area Conference title along with Cros-Lex, Yale and Richmond, enters the fray coming off a 42-21 homefield win against Cass City.

Prior to that, Almont won five of seven contests. That stretch included a 56-7 victory over Lakeville; a 14-13 loss to Richmond; a 40-0 triumph against Yale; a 56-0 win over Algonac; a 40-26 victory against Cros-Lex; a 27-21 setback to Imlay City; a 48-12 triumph over Armada; and a 42-21 win against Cass City.

Madison Heights Madison, which competes in the Macomb Area Conference, heads into the battle coming off a 27-24 loss to visiting Clawson.

Prior to that, Madison Heights Madison took four of eight games. That run included a 25-0 win against Mount Clemens; a 38-15 victory over St. Clair; a 27-6 loss to Marysville; a 12-0 triumph against St. Clair Shores Lakeview; a 12-8 win over St. Clair Shores Lakeshore; a 21-14 setback to Madison Heights Lamphere; a 34-6 loss to Warren Fitgerald; a 35-0 victory against Centerline.

"We are extremely excited to face the challenge of going up against Madison Heights Madison again," Almont Coach Jeremy Ferman said. "Some of our seniors have seen them end our season two straight years and would like to change the outcome this time around," he emphasized.

"We hope to come out and take care of business. I expect a good-sized turnout for the game."

Ferman pegs Neal Zott (quarterback), Steve McClure (fullback), Garrett Savage (halfback), Addam Wierbicki (halfback), Pat Russell (split end), Dillon Melly (tight end), Chase Orzel (center), Tim Zehnder (guard), Ben Strouse (guard), Ryan Born (tackle) and Al Bourgois (tackle) as his likely offensive starters.

On the opposite side of the football, Ferman is leaning toward Aaron Globie (tackle), Melly tackle), Jake Ferrell (end), Strouse (end), Steve Cassidy (linebacker), Kyle Pilarski (linebacker), Tom Chilcote (linebacker), McClure (linebacker), Jake McCarthy (defensive back), Zott (defensive back) and Russell (defensive back) as his starting group.

The victor of this Saturday's encounter gains admittance to the district championship where they will meet the survivor of a game between Ann Arbor Gabriel Richard (6-3) and Livonia Clarenceville (8-1).

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