Alpena JV football team finishes with winning record

Courtesy Photo The Alpena High JV football team is pictured after defeating St. Johns 19-14 in its season finale last month. With the win, Alpena finished 5-4 for the season.

The Alpena JV Football team emerged with a 19-14 home victory over opponent St. Johns on Friday, Oct. 22 after a back-and-forth battle.

The close contest was marked by strong defensive efforts from both teams, but Alpena’s late game heroics proved to be the deciding factor.

St. John’s struck first to take an early 6-0 lead, but Alpena quarterback Jonathon Rensberry found Easton Srebnik on a 13-yard touchdown pass to even the score minutes later. Displaying his strong catching skills, Srebnik plucked the ball from over top of a Redwing defender for six. On the point after, Wildcat kicker and dual-sport fall athlete Owen Kocan connected on the first PAT of the year for the JV squad, making the score 7-6 Alpena.

Though the Wildcats carried this lead into the half, St. Johns picked up momentum in the third quarter to take a 14-7 lead. Toward the end of the third quarter, Alpena answered as Srebnik hauled in a long pass from Rensberry for his second touchdown reception of the night. The Wildcats’ subsequent two-point conversion attempt was stopped short, making the score 14-13 St. Johns with just over one quarter to play.

Trading blows and solid defensive stops, the two teams found themselves in a barn burner of a fourth quarter. Alpena’s offense then found it’s stride and a bit of luck on the game winning drive, one that started with a miraculous broken play. After evading a host of Redwing pass rushers, Rensberry desperately dumped the ball off to running back Elyjah Chism who scampered for 40 yards and a huge first down.

A few plays later, the Wildcats found themselves in a 4th and 2 situation with their fate hanging in the balance. Calling his own number, Rensberry plowed ahead for a first down and more, following the sound blocks of his offensive line and breaking tackles for a 17-yard gain. Then, from the 3-yard line, the Wildcats powered home their final touchdown of the season as Elyjah Chism charged into the endzone to make it 19-14.

With just over a minute to play, St. Johns attempted to counter with a score of their own. As the clock ticked under one minute, though, Easton Srebnik leaped in front of a Redwing pass and picked it off to seal the deal for the Wildcats. This interception was his fifth of the year, allowing Alpena to conclude their final game in victory formation.

With the win, the JV Wildcats moved to a winning record of 5-4 on the season. This was the first winning season for an Alpena Football team at any level since 2014, a true testament to the hard work and dedication of each of these athletes. Amidst a year marked by adversity in tough opponents, sicknesses, and injuries, they continued to fight time and time again.


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