Lansing Catholic scores 24 straight to knock off Almont for division five title

Written by
Zackary R. Boyer
Photo Credit
Zackary R. Boyer

Party like it’s 1985!

After losses in 2011 and 2014 the Lansing Catholic Cougars (13-1) won their first state title in 34 years with a win against Almont (13-1).

With a defensive first half where either team could only muster a touchdown, an offensive explosion happened in the second half. It started with 10 points for Almont and then 24 consecutive for Lansing Catholic Central.

“We’ve played from behind all season especially against Portland when we were down 21-7 at halftime,” Lansing Catholic linebacker Sam Edwards said. “We needed to have that 21-7 mentality to win this game.”

Edwards racked up a big stat-line for the Cougars as he recorded 19 tackles, 1 sack, 1.5 tackles for loss, a forced fumble, 2 fumble recoveries and an interception.

Edwards was not the only Cougar having a big day on defense as Zach Gillespie intercepted a ball, Zack Stone had two interceptions and Vince Salquist had an interception. In total the Cougar defense forced seven turnovers.

“We had two picks that stopped them from scoring,” Lansing Catholic head coach Jim Ahern said. “I always tell our kids that turnovers are key.”

The biggest might have been the fumble forced by Edwards. Edwards came streaking down the field on a kickoff and stripped the ball and recovered it. The play went under review and reversed saying that the ball was out giving the ball back to Lansing Catholic.

“That was right after the touchdown to tie it,” Edwards said. “I was kind of on a mission.”

While Edwards handled things on defense, the offense for the Cougars got things going and rattled off 24 consecutive points.

Jonah Richards got things started with a 24-yard field goal and then Vince Salquist hauled in a 7-yard pass from Gillespie, then Gillespie hit Mitch Raphael for 23 yards and then Gillespie capped things off with a 4-yard run to put the Cougars up 31-17.

The comeback was complete.

“We really got things going in the second half,” Ahern said. “We started slow in the first.”

Lansing Catholic scored all 24 points in the final 14 minutes of the game.