• American Legion States 7/29: Escanaba 6, Clinton 3
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Tuesday August 9, 2022
OT HEARTBREAK: Eskymos Fall To Alpena, 26-20

Click the thumbnails to see photos and videos from the game, as well as from the JV game that Alpena won, 38-25, with two fourth quarter touchdowns.

Judging by the intensity of Friday night’s Escanaba-Alpena football game, you’d never know that both teams had just one win this season.

But there was plenty of emotion as both teams laid it out there in a back-and-forth game that the visiting Wildcats pulled out in overtime, 26-20, in the final home game of the season for Escanaba.

The Wildcats jumped to a 13-0 lead before the Eskymos found their legs and battled back with a spirited fourth quarter comeback. And they had a chance to win the game with two seconds left on a Karson Krutina 27-yard field goal attempt.

But the snap was on the ground and Krutina’s kick was blocked.

And after the Eskymos went four-and-out in overtime, the Wildcats needed just two plays to win it on a quarterback sneak by quarterback Ryan Voltz.

The Eskymos fumbled the opening kickoff as the Wildcats on-sided it, and they drove down the field for the early lead on another Voltz sneak. Then after the Eskymo offense sputtered, Voltz led his team on another drive, with a five-yard touchdown pass to a wide-open Colt Gray. That made it 13-0.

Escanaba got back in the game in the second quarter when Casey Bray threw a short touchdown pass to Trent Lawson. Krutina’s extra point made it 13-7 at halftime.

The Wildcats used six minutes off the third quarter clock with a drive that ended on a Kadyn Budnik five-yard touchdown run, and it was a 20-7 game.

The Eskymos bounced back with Krutina scoring on a pitch to the left side. The PAT was no good, however, so Esky still trailed, 20-13.

Alpena (2-6) worked up-field for a game-clinching drive, but a bad snap put them in long down-and-distance, and Voltz threw one up that was intercepted by Escanaba’s Kaiden Brown.

Escanaba tied the game on a short pass from Bray to Krutina out of the backfield, and he took it 53 yards to the house. Krutina’s extra point kick made it 20-all.

When Alpena got the ball back, they fumbled at the 40 yard-line, and the Eskymos worked it into the end zone, with a clutch third down pass from Bray to Scott Hiller. Those two had hooked up on a long pass on the previous drive as well.

Escanaba ran the clock down to two seconds, and after both teams used a time out, Krutina set up for a game-winning 27-yard field goal from the right hash mark. He never got the chance, though, as the snap was in the grass and his kick went into the Alpena line.

Overtime means that both teams get the ball at the opponent ten yard-line. Escanaba went first, and made it to the 5, when Bray tossed to Ben Johnson who threw the half-back option pass into the end zone. It was incomplete, and then on fourth down, Bray’s pass was incomplete, setting Alpena up for the win.

The Wildcats got nine yards on the first run, and then Voltz powered his way into the end zone from less than a yard out to win it for Alpena.

For Escanaba (1-7), it was a seventh straight loss after a season-opening win at Antigo. They’ll close the season next Saturday night against a state-ranked team from downstate Hastings. That is a 6:30 start, on the neutral field of Gaylord High School.

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