The Alma Panthers and Freeland Falcons squared off Friday night in Freeland in an important matchup in the TVC-Central. Both teams entered with five wins and one loss, both losing to Swan Valley earlier in the season. The winner of this game would take control of second place in the league, and more importantly they would clinch their spot in the MHSAA Playoffs. The Panthers controlled this one from the beginning in a 21-0 shutout over Freeland.
In the first quarter, the lone points scored were a holding recorded by the Alma defense. This came as a result of the Freeland offense getting called for a holding penalty in the end zone. This gave the Panthers a 2-0 edge after the first quarter of play.
The second quarter saw a pair of touchdowns scored by Alma. Brec Alward scored the first touchdown of the quarter on a 12-yard run. The unsuccessful extra point left it 8-0 Panthers. Later in the quarter, Alma extended their lead to fifteen points with a 18-yard pass from Drew Humm to Marcus Owens.
In the second half, Alma scored only one touchdown, a Alward three-yard touchdown run. It was a great night for Alward as he scored a pair of touchdowns and he rushed for nearly 175 yards. Alma took advantage of many penalties and turnovers by the Falcons in this contest to seal the 21-0 victory.
With the win, Alma qualified for the state playoffs. For Freeland, they now sit at 5-2 on the season. They still need one more win to reach the postseason, and they will try to do that next week when they take on Birch Run.