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Almont looking sharp heading into D5 semifinals vs. Lansing CC

By: Scott Burnstein, November 21, 2014, 12:00 am

Almont – The Almont Raiders are rocking-and-rolling their way into the Division 5 state semifinals this weekend.

The rocking comes from the fact that the Raiders are a perfect 12-0 and have won 17 of its last 18 games dating back to last year.

The rolling comes from the fact that Almont is rolling-up the competition to a tune of an 135-19 advantage on the scoreboard so far in its’ playoff run.

Eleventh-year coach Jeremy Ferman and his club will be making their second appearance in the final four in the past four seasons when it faces Lansing Catholic Central (also undefeated at 12-0) Saturday afternoon at Ortonville Brandon High School.

“This is a senior-dominated team and that experience is really showing,” said Ferman of his squad’s success in 2014. “The leadership we have is outstanding and everything falls in line from there.”

Senior Trevor Nichols is in his third-year starting under center for the Raiders and has compiled a personal won-loss record of 21-3. Mike Couch, a senior and Nick Baker, a junior, combine to form a nice one-two punch running the ball out of the backfield and Nick Kirby is Nichols’ No. 1 receiver in the passing game.

Nichols’ has been getting quality protection in the pocket this fall courtesy of a stout and sturdy offensive line led by center Joe Flaherty. Linebacker Chase Torretta pilots Almont’s defense.

Baker rushed for 150 yards and three touchdowns in the Raiders’ 35-12 toasting of River Rouge in the regionals last week.

Lansing Catholic Central is coming off a 49-21 defeat of Flint Powers in its’ regional final where 6-foot-6 junior quarterback Tony Poljan scored seven touchdowns (four on the ground, three through the air). Poljan is an all-state performer in both football and basketball.

“We’ve got to be able to contain Poljan, all of what they do stems from him,” said Ferman gazing ahead to Saturday’s match-up. “Our defense is going to have to step up and play a heck of a game.”

Almont is a tiny city of 2,500 people in Lapeer County, approximately 40 miles north of Detroit.

“We’re a small town, but we’re a football town, always have been, always will be” said Ferman in a prideful tone.