July 15 • 10:30 PM

Almont playoff run halted

Jackson Lumen Christi prevails, 37-7 over Raiders

Almont Coach Jeremy Ferman talks to his ballclub after their loss to Jackson Lumen Christi in a Division 5, Region 4 title confrontation last Friday. photo by Kevin Kissane.

November 19, 2008
ALMONT — Sixth-ranked Jackson Lumen Christi put an end to Almont's season, earning a 37-7 win at their expense in a Division 5, Region 4 championship football confrontation last Friday night.

Withington Stadium, in Jackson, is where the action unfolded.

With the outcome, Jackson Lumen Christi (10-2) moves on to this Saturday's state semifinals at Lansing Everett High School where it will square off against top-ranked Muskegon Oakridge (12-0). That matchup lists a 1 p.m. starting time. Almont watches an outstanding 9-3 campaign reach an endpoint.

"I was very impressed with Jackson Lumen Christi," Almont Coach Jeremy Ferman said. "They have a young squad, but it is a good one," he noted.

"Their team is no stranger to regional championship games. To them it was probably just another game."

In Friday's confrontation, Jackson Lumen Christi jumped out to a 16-0 advantage after one quarter was complete.

The second quarter would see Jackson Lumen Christi establish even more breathing room.

Aidcd by a 14-0 advantage there, Jackson Lumen Christi widened the gap to 30-0 at the halftime break.

When the action resumed, Jackson Lumen Christi struck with a 7-0 third quarter edge.

That raised Jackson Lumen Christi's cushion to 37-0 at the 36-minute mark.

Almont then outscored Jackson Lumen Christi 7-0 the rest of the way, only to fall by a 37-7 count when the final scores were added up.

Jackson Lumen Christi amassed their 37-point total aided by a Nick Kline 25-yard field goal; a Rafe Bellers two-yard touchdown run (followed by a successful extra-point kick courtesy of Kline); a Bellers 50-yard touchdown run; a Nick Russler five-yard touchdown run (followed by an accurate extra-point boot courtesy of Kline); a Russler one-yard touchdown run (followed by a successful extra-point kick courtesy of Kline); and a Maurice Jones 65-yard touchdown run (followed by an accurate extra-point boot courtesy of Kline. Those tallies came with 8:28 showing on the first quarter clock; 3:20 before the opening quarter was to end; with 30 seconds showing on the first quarter clock; 4:48 before halftime; with 1:41 showing on the second quarter clock; and 11:12 before the third quarter was to end.

Almont generated their seven-point output aided by a Garrett Savage seven-yard touchdown run (followed by a successful extra-point kick courtesy of Ben McNally). That score came with 6:12 showing on the fourth quarter clock.

For the evening, Neal Zott completed two of 11 pass plays for 41 yards as Almont's quarterback. He threw zero interceptions along the way.

Dillon Melly had both of Almont's receptions.

The Almont ground attack managed 116 yards on 29 totes. Zott (11 rushes for 37 yards), Steve McClure (10 rushes for 32 yards), Garrett Savage (six rushes for 21 yards), Kyle Pilarski (one rush for 20 yards) and Addam Wierbicki (one rush for six yards) made that output possible.

Tom Chilcote paced the Almont defense, registering 13 solo stops. Melly and Zott (eight solo tackles apiece) along with Aaron Globie and McClure (five stops each) made their presence felt as well.

Before heading for the long bus ride back to Almont, Ferman took time out to reflect on the type of year his team had.

"I wasn't really surprised with how our seniors played this season," Ferman said. "I was more surprised how our captains stepped up for us as leaders," he emphasized.

"If you looked back to where we started with question marks and guys moving their positions, if you would have told me that we would be sitting here today after a regional game, I probably wouldn't have believed you. This might just be the best Almont team ever."

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