ALGONAC — Hey, Algonac. You have a Blue Water Area Conference football championship.
The Muskrats defeated Almont, 21-7 Friday night to clinch a share of the BWAC title, continuing one of the more remarkable turnarounds the Blue Water Area has seen. They can win it outright next Friday with a win against Richmond.
Algonac, which hasn’t been in the postseason or had a winning season since 2005, was 1-8 a year ago, and now sits at 7-0 on the season – 6-0 in the BWAC.
The game was sealed when Joe McKee scored on an 11-yard run with 1 minute, 19 seconds to play, making the score 21-7. It may have been sealed two plays before that, however, when AJ Garshott hit Owen Kaatz for a 6-yard gain on a fourth-and-4. The possession was set up by a Nick Folkerts interception.
Both plays sent the majority of the announced 5,282 fans at the game into a frenzy, as did a game-ending interception by Dylan Jack.
While the offense sealed it, the defense was the dominant force for Algonac, holding an explosive Almont team to no points after its first drive.
Fourth-down attempts were the story of the first quarter, as one was unsuccessful and two others wound up in the endzone.
After Algonac’s failed fourth-down attempt near midfield, Almont drove down the field and drew first blood on a 2-yard run by Boyd Glenn. The Raiders faced a third and goal from the 12, but a pair of offside penalties got them to the 3 before Glenn scored on fourth down.
Algonac responded with a fourth-down touchdown of its own, as AJ Garshott hit Owen Kaatz for a 24-yard score on fourth and 15, tying the game at 7.
A masterful Maison Graham punt set up Algonac’s second score, as he pinned Almont at the 3. On third down, Tom Goldenbogen recovered a fumble in the endzone for the Muskrats, who took a 14-7 lead.