That Muskrat defense is nothing to mess with.
Algonac had a swamp strong defensive showing for the second straight game, topping Almont on the road 14-7.
Muskrat head coach Scott Barnhart even admitted he didn’t think his team had enough juice to seal the game down the stretch, but the Muskrats prevailed to pick up BWAC win No. 1.
“I’ll take a team breath when I get on the bus,” Barnhart said with a laugh after the game. “It feels great though, I’ll have to check on a couple of kids and see if they’re OK, but I like where we are going into week three.”
In a first half that took less than 45 minutes due to the run-heavy game, defense was king.
Algonac generated the first turnover of the game with Steven Rose using the hands to snag his second interception of the season, running 35 yards to put the Muskrats on Almont’s 47 in the second quarter.
However, the Raiders flexed their muscles and caused a three-and-out to get the ball right back.
With the minutes winding down toward halftime, Almont had a 4th and 4 on Algonac’s 43 yard line, and that’s when the Nick Folkerts show started. He batted a deep pass down to force a turnover on downs, setting up Algonac 57 yards away from its end zone with 1:35 left in the half.
“We have some really special kids on defense, no doubt,” Barnhart said. “Like Dylan Jack and … the defensive line has been fantastic. Luke (Stephenson) and (Brandon) Spencer at linebacker as well have been solid, and it’s a lot like last year in the sense we have 11 kids that work and coach Smith does a great job with those kids.”
The first play of that drive, Folkerts separated himself from the defense and caught a pinpoint pass from Brendan Piper for a 57 yard touchdown and a 7-0 lead after a Noah Todino extra point sailed through the uprights.
The third quarter flew by with no points, but it didn’t take long into the fourth for the Muskrats to double their lead.
Standing 15 yards away from the end zone, the Muskrats rolled right for an option. Piper – as he was being hit – pitched the ball to Brandon Spencer who took it to the house for a 14-0 lead.
However, Almont’s energy came back in a tidal wave thanks to the quick legs of Logan Kosinski. In less than two and a half minutes, Kosinski compiled 67 rushing yards and capped off the drive with an 11 yard touchdown – the first one Algonac let up this season.
Almont’s defense stayed charged up after that drive to force Algonac to a three-and-out to have the Raiders start a drive on their 47.
However, the Algonac defense stood tall once again, batting away a pass on fourth down that all but sealed the game and the Muskrats third 2-0 start in the last four seasons.