AGS slide by Atlanta
AuGRES-SIMS — AuGres-Sims built a seemingly comfortable fourth-quarter lead Friday in its homecoming contest with Atlanta, then held on to claim a tough 26-22 victory that kept the Wolverines' North Star League title hopes alive.
The Wolverines' spread offense managed its first contest without a single turnover this season, and the defense did just enough to contain Atlanta running back Ken Englehart.
"Our defense has made some great strides," said AGS coach Dr. Scott McAlindon. "We're defending much better, and we showed that by how we were able to get people on Englehart. He is quite a running back, and he single-handedly just about took the game back at the end."
The Wolverines held a 26-16 lead midway through the fourth quarter, but Atlanta was able to score a touchdown to cut it to 26-22.
AGS was unable to run out the clock, giving the Huskies once last chance to take the win. Atlanta was able to advance inside the Wolverines' 20 before the AGS defense sopped the Huskies on downs in the final minutes.
The Wolverines got another big performance out of quarterback Alex Lutz, who completed 24-of-34 passes for 281 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for 77 yards and two more scores.
They also got a breakout performance from sophomore receiver Colton Liddell, who caught nine passes for 81 yards and the game-clinching score on a 48-yard touchdown reception in the fourth quarter.
"Colton and the other sophomores have been improving each week," McAlindon said. "They're listening and paying attention. They may not like our film sessions much, but they're taking what they're learning from those and using it."
Another sophomore, Travis Byard, caught five passes for 82 yards and his 24-yard touchdown grab put the Wolverines ahead in the first quarter.
Senior receivers Kyle Gingerich and Chad Taylor also had big nights, with Gingerich making six catches for 91 yards and Taylor four for 27.
Atlanta took an 8-7 lead with a touchdown at the end of the first quarter, but AGS led 13-8 at the half thanks to a 15-yard Lutz run.
Lutz added another score from one yard out in the third period, and after Atlanta answered with a score, Liddell scored on his long pass from Lutz for a 26-16 lead.
Kyle Shanks had 10 tackles and five assists and Zach Dieleman added nine tackles and three assists to lead the AGS defense.
The Wolverines (3-2, 2-1 NSL) travel to Hale (2-3, 1-2), which lost 32-12 to Alcona on Friday.
"That's going to be another tough game," McAlindon said. "Anyone can beat anyone this year, so we need to be ready."