**ARTICLE BY JOSH LONGSTRETH**
The Alma Panthers have been through it the last several weeks of play. Facing four teams in a row who are vying for playoff spots, it has been no easy road in the 2022 season. Last week, that road would lead to a Frankenmuth team on their Homecoming. A game in which Alma couldn’t manage to get much going, the Panthers would look to respond in week 8 against a Bridgeport team that, too, has had a tough road. The Bearcats would come into this one trying to scrape through for their first tally in the win column this year. This night would belong to the Panthers, though.
Alma would jump on top in this one when the connection of Sam Rosales would hook up for a 16-yard TD pass. An Alex Reyes good PAT would make it a 7-0 game, Panthers. Rosales would make another connection shortly after. This time he’d find Treyvin Painter from 7-yards out to give Alma an early 14-0 lead after one quarter of play.
The Panthers would put together one of their best quarters of play in the 2nd. Rosales would find his own way into the endzone this time on a 9-yard TD run. After the Reyes kick, it would give the Panthers some more breathing room at 21-0. Alma would strike again shortly after on, you guessed it, another Rosales TD. This time he would plunge in from 1-yard out and it was all Panthers, 28-0. They weren’t done in the quarter. Rosales would be in the giving mood again hitting a new target on the night in Cade Sutherland from 19-yards out. Alma would cruise into the half with a commanding 35-0 lead.
We would have to wait to see more scoring in this one as the 3rd quarter was all defense. Alma would break through again in the 4th on a Carlos Martinez-Medina 12-yard TD run. The Reyes kick after would put the Panthers up 42-0. Bridgeport would finally break through, though. The Bearcats would find their way into the endzone ruining the Alma shutout on a 3-yard TD run. The two-point try would be no good and that would be the end of it. Alma goes onto win this one in dominant fashion, 42-6.
Sam Rosales led the charge in this one for the Panthers. He would go 15 of 23 passing on the night for 184 yards, adding 3 TD’s through the air. On the ground he would carry 11 times for 44 yards and 2 TD’s, account for all but one of the Panthers TD’s on the night. Cade Sutherland led the receiving attack with 8 catches for 109 yards and 1 TD. Delvon Pascoe-Ward Jr. Would account for 5 catches for 59 yards and a TD on the night. He got it done on the defensive side too account for 3 tackles for loss, 2 of which were sacks. Carlos Martinez-Medina helped the ground attack with 7 carries for 49 yards and 1 TD. Treyvin Painter added the other TD for the Panthers and had 2 INT’s on the defensive side. Kicker Alex Reyes would go perfect on the night, going 6 of 6 on XP’s.
The win will give Alma their second victory on the year. They now sit at 2-6 overall and 2-5 in conference play. They’ll have a shot to grab another win next week when they take on a solid Big Rapids team. The Cardinals sit at 6-2 on the year and are 5-1 in the Central State Activities Gold conference. Big Rapids captured a forfeit win on Friday against Morley-Stanwood. They will travel into Panther country next week when they take on Alma at 7:00 next Friday night. Bridgeport will have a chance to grab their first win of the year in the regular season finale. They now sit at 0-8 overall, and 0-7 in the conference. They’ll face a Flint Hamady team who comes in at 7-1 on the year and lost a nail-biter to a 1-loss Charlotte team. The Bearcats will make the trip over to Hamady High School when the two square off at 7:00 next Friday night.