TRI-CIY AREA — The Almont varsity football team (7-2) saw to it that they would head into postseason action on a high note, accomplishing the feat with a 42-21 triumph against visiting non-league counterpart Cass City (5-4) last Friday night.
"This was a good game to get under our belts before the playoffs," Almont Coach Jeremy Ferman said. "Cass City was able to get out to a 7-0 lead just a few minutes into the game, but we did not panic and were able to respond on the the possession that followed," he noted.
"We then took the lead the next time our offense got the ball. That helped send us on our way to a win."
In Friday's matchup, Almont grabbed a 14-7 edge after one quarter was complete.
The second quarter would see Almont establish some much-needed breathing room.
Addam Wierbicki, of Almont, works for extra yardage during his team’s non-league clash with Cass City on Friday. Almont won the game 42-21. photo by Kevin Kissane.
Aided by a 21-7 advantage there, Almont raised their lead to 35-14 at the halftime break.
When the action resumed, Cass City bounced back with a 7-0 third quarter edge.
That made it 35-21, Almont, at the 36-minute mark.
Almont then outscored Cass City 7-0 from that point on, closing out a 42-21 win at Cass City's expense.
The victorious Almont side amassed their 42-point total aided by a Garrett Savage 61-yard touchdown run (followed by a successful extra-point kick from Ben McNally); an Addam Wierbicki 44-yard touchdown run (followed by an accurate extra-point boot courtesy of McNally); a Wierbicki five-yard touchdown run (followed by a successful extra-point kick from McNally); a Neal Zott 84-yard kickoff return for a touchdown (followed by an accurate extra-point boot courtesy of McNally); a Wierbicki 14-yard touchdown run (followed by a successful extra-point kick from McNally); and a Steve McClure one-yard touchdown run (followed by an accurate extra-point boot courtesy of Julian Burmester). Those tallies came with 6:56 showing on the first quarter clock; 3:14 before the first quarter was to end; with 9:17 showing on the second quarter clock; 8:23 before the second quarter was to end; with 5:11 showing on the second quarter clock; and 50 seconds before the fourth quarter was to end.
Cass City produced their 21-point output thanks to a Blake Messing 19-yard touchdown run (followed by a successful extra-point kick courtesy of Lukas Varney); a Luke Newton seven-yard touchdown run (followed by an accurate extra-point boot from Varney); and a Varney three-yard touchdown run (followed by a successful extra-point kick courtesy of Varney.
On the evening, Zott wound up one of two passing for 49 yards as Almont's quarterback. He threw no interceptions along the way.
Pat Russell notched the lone Almont reception.
The Almont ground attack added 320 yards of territory. It took them 37 totes to amass those credentials.
Wierbicki (12 rushes for 111 yards), McClure (93 yards on 14 totes), Savage (nine rushes for 88 yards) and Zott (18 yards on two totes) made that output possible.
Tom Chilcote paced Almont's defense. He was credited with 15 solos. Jake Ferrell and Zott (seven solos each), Ben Strouse and McClure (six apiece) along with Dillon Melly (five) backed his performance.
The Almont defense also claimed two takeaways. Steven Cassidy (a fumble recovery) and Zott (an interception) supplied those.
Almont returns to action this Saturday when it entertains Madison Heights Madison (5-4) in a Division 5, Region 4, District 1 opening round playoff game. That matchup lists a 2 p.m. starting time.