Iron Mountain, MI – August 26, 2021 – The Negaunee Miners Football team traveled to Iron Mountain to face the Mountaineers in the season opener. In a hard-fought battle, the Miners came up short 14-12 to fall to 0-1 on the season. Mark Evans and Gregg Nelson had the call live from Iron Mountain on Sunny 101.9.
Negaunee received the ball first and very quickly was faced with a fourth-and-one at its own 30-yard line. Fullback Nico Lukkarinen drove forward and picked up the conversion to move the chains. This was the start of a long opening drive for the Miners that lasted nearly the entire first quarter. Running back Easton Palomaki and wide receiver Philip Nelson were making plays for Negaunee on the drive, including a huge diving catch by Nelson on another fourth down conversion. From the six-yard line, Palomaki took a pitch from quarterback Gerald Johnson and dove in the end-zone for the touchdown. Nelson’s kick was no good after a failed snap, but the Miners took a 6-0 lead after a nearly 11-minute, 80-yard touchdown drive.
End of 1st: Negaunee Miners 6, Iron Mountain Mountaineers 0
Both teams really couldn’t get anything going in the second quarter, with only a couple of drives of promise that barely crossed midfield. Iron Mountain did however look like it had a long touchdown pass caught by Bradon Farragh, but was called back due to an offensive holding penalty. The two squads played things conservatively in the late stages of the half, and the Miners’ opening drive was the difference after one half of play.
Halftime: Negaunee Miners 6, Iron Mountain Mountaineers 0
Iron Mountain started the second half off strong with a 15-yard rush by Bradon Farragh.
The second half got even stronger with a 64-yard touchdown pass from Colavecchi to Wolfe giving them the 7-6 lead. Negaunee started their second half with a fumble which Iron Mountain recovered, giving the Mountaineers all of the momentum. Joe Colavecchi shocked everybody with a 39 yard rushing touchdown giving Iron Mountain the 14-6 edge. The Miners drove down the field but their possession ended with an interception on Iron Mountains five yard line
End of 3rd: Iron Mountain Mountaineers 14, Negaunee Miners 6
Negaunee cut the lead down to 14-12 with a 29 yard Nico Lukkarinen touchdown. The Miners went for the two point conversion but fell short. Joe Colavechhi went to hand off the ball to Farragh but the ball was fumbled which was quickly smothered by the Miners. With an opportunity to score, Negaunee drove down the field but were forced to kick a field goal which was blocked by Iron Mountain keep the score the same. The Mountaineers saved their drive with a conversion on fourth and two.
Negaunee sacked Colavecchi with under 10 seconds to go forcing a turnover on downs and giving the Miners a shot at a miracle. Johnson fired it down field but it with seconds left it was swatted resulting in Iron Mountain walking away with the 14-12 victory.
Final Score: Iron Mountain Mountaineers 14, Negaunee Miners 12
NEXT GAME: The Negaunee Miners Football team returns to action on Thursday, Sept. 2 for its home opener against the Calumet Copper Kings! Tune into Sunny 101.9 at 6:30p.m., where Mark Evans and Gregg Nelson will have the Elder Agency Pregame Show, with the game to follow at 7 p.m. Go Miners!