Mio squeaks by AGS
AU GRES-SIMS - Oct. 10, 2008 - Mio AuSable earned at least a tie for the North Star League title and eliminated AuGres-Sims from championship contention Friday with a 30-24 victory over the Wolverines.
AGS needed to beat the Thunderbolts to set up what could have been a three-way tie for the league title with Mio and Hillman, but with the loss trail Mio by two games with just one league contest to go.
The Wolverines turned the ball over on their first two possessions and trailed 24-6 in the third quarter before mounting a fourth-quarter comeback.
The first Wolverine turnover came in the end zone, right after Alex Lutz had completed a pass to Kyle Gingerich that went for 50 yards.
The Thunderbolts took advantage, using an Aaron Smith 15-yard touchdown run to open the scoring and a 12-yard run by quarterback Michael Kososky to make it 16-0 after one quarter.
"If we score on that first drive, it might have changed the game quite a bit," said AGS coach Dr. Scott McAlindon. "Even so, it was amazing how hard the guys played. They never gave up. They were determined they were going to pull it out; they fell just a little bit short."
The Wolverines' failure to convert on any of their extra point attempts -- one kick and three 2-point attempts -- proved to be the difference as both teams scored four touchdowns.
"Those were costly," McAlindon said. "They add up in a hurry."
Lutz's one-yard plunge in the second quarter cut the Mio lead to 16-6 at the half. Mio got touchdowns from Kososky and Garret Price in the third quarter, while AGS got a 10-yard Lutz-to-Zach Dieleman score to trail 30-12.
The Wolverines made it interesting, with Chad Taylor scoring on a 55-yard pass play late in the third quarter and Lutz scoring in the fourth on a 1-yard dive.
Lutz finished with 12-of-22 for 225 passing yards and two interceptions and rushed for 77 yards on 18 carries. Gingerich caught three passes for 75 yards and Travis Byard caught six passes for 64 yards to lead the receivers.
Dieleman had 13 solo tackles and four assists, Nathan Trapp had eight tackles and four assists, Kyle Shanks had seven tackles and two assists and Gingerich added six tackles and two assists to lead the defense.
"Their lines were as they were touted to be," said McAlindon on the Thunderbolts' huge size advantage in the trenches. ""But I don't think we were intimidated. The kids hung in there as best they could. We were much more aggressive than we have been; it was the hardest-hitting game we've played this season.
"Games like this can be a learning experience, and if we continue to step it up like we did tonight, we should be in good shape for making the playoffs."
The Wolverines (4-3, 3-2 North Star League) need to win at Arenac Eastern on Oct. 17, and at Kinde North Huron on Oct. 24, to reach the six-win mark that would guarantee a playoff spot.
Mio (5-2, 5-0) travels to Hale on Friday to try to wrap up sole possession of the league title.