Greg Stark scored two touchdowns as Armada defeated Algonac 21-13 Friday.
After losing its first two games of the season, the Tigers (1-2, 1-1 Blue Water Area Conference) went with “Refuse to Lose” as their motto this week.
While they never trailed the Muskrats (2-1, 1-1), they could not breathe a sigh of relief until Sammy Matthews pulled down a pass from Algonac quarterback Mike Baranowski in the end zone with 1:13 to play to cement their first win of the year.
“We’re real proud of the boys and the effort they showed tonight,” Armada coach Mike Brandimarte said. “We run those drills all the time and Sammy is the guy to make that type of play for us.”
It was one of three goal-line stops that the Tigers made against Algonac. The Muskrats struggled throughout much of the game to get their offense untracked.
“Early on, we didn’t have any immediate answers and they gassed us pretty good,” Algonac coach Scott Barnhart said.
Algonac fumbled the ball away on the opening drive of the game. Armada took possession and capped it off with a 1-yard touchdown run by Willie Stark.
Greg Stark scored on a 41-yard dash to put the Tigers ahead 14-0 with 7:39 left in the second quarter.
The Muskrats endured a first-half filled with penalties and a couple players getting banged up.
It wasn’t until Ryan Pate scored a touchdown from 8-yards out with 2:27 in the third quarter that they cut their deficit in half.
But their misery was far from over.
After forcing Armada to punt on the ensuing possession, the Tigers opted for a fake and quarterback Trevor Holston heaved a 27-yard pass to Grant Grabowski. Though he was sandwiched between two Muskrat defenders, Grabowski managed to come down with the ball on a deflection.
First down, Tigers. Greg Stark scored moments later on a 4-yard run.
“It worked and we had a lucky bounce catch, but we’ll take that because we’ve had a couple of those go against us this year,” Brandimarte said.
Baranowski scored on a 1-yard run with under four minutes to play in the game, but the Muskrats missed the extra point. They forced a turnover and got the ball back with a chance to tie, but Matthews was there to snatch those hopes from them.
The Tigers will travel to Imlay City next Friday. Algonac will host Yale that same evening.