Wolves come up short against Titans
By Josh Staloch
LENA – The Algoma High football team moved to 2-2 on the season following a 48-20 loss to the Lena/St. Thomas Aquinas Titans on Friday, one that saw Algoma hang with the home team for much of the first half before the Titans took over for their fifth win of the year.
The loss comes after a 54-37 win over Gillett last week at home and a 53-50 overtime loss to Gibraltar in week two.
“It’s what 8-player is all about,” said Algoma head coach Wade Vandervest of his team’s recent high-scoring matchups. “It comes down to, can you contain their offense and unfortunately, we haven’t been able to do that against some of these teams.”
The Wolves got on the board first in this one, setting the tone early with a bruising running game as quarterback Grant Vandervest and running back Isaac Yunk both got off to good starts on the opening drive. Algoma marched down the field on that first series, highlighted also by a pass from Vandervest to Parker Liscka on a third-and-10 play to move the chains and set up a short run by Vandervest into the endzone for a 6-0 lead after a missed two-point attempt.
The TItans had an equally impressive start to their running game as Calvin Peters, who would finish the half with nearly 200 yards rushing, broke off a 20-yard run on Lena/STAA’s first play from scrimmage.
One play later, Tyler Shallow took a handoff and ran it up along the Algoma sideline for 40 yards and a touchdown, giving the Titans an 8-6 lead after converting on the two-point attempt.
Up next, more hard-fought yardage on the ground from Vandervest to set up a huge run down to the nine-yard line from Liscka.
Later in the drive, on a third-and-15 play, sophomore Joey Cabino and the Algoma line pulled off a big running play for a score and a 14-8 lead following a two-point run by Yunk.
The Titans responded immediately though, with Peters reeling off a 35-yard run on second down to get the home team into the endzone again and ahead 16-14 on the scoreboard after another two points.
“To Lena’s credit, they’re a good, physical team,” said Vandervest. “They’re very good at attacking and they just grind you down. They do a great job with that. You can’t make as many mistakes as we did tonight against a team like that.”
Lena/STAA put another two scores on the board in the second quarter to make it 32-14.
On their last drive of the first half, the Wolves, again buoyed by the rushing attack of Yunk and Vandervest, marched down the field and looked primed to cut the deficit to 10 points.
The two rushers, along with the o-line, bruised their way into the red zone and right up the goal line, following a Vandervest carry for five yards down to the one.
But a bad snap later in the drive resulted in a turnover and the Wolves went into the locker room down 18, never to recover.
NOTE: The Luxemburg-Casco Spartans were victorious against Freedom, 24-14 and the Kewaunee Storm stay undefeated for the year with a 47-6 win over Mishicot.