Hancock, MI – September 10, 2021 – The Negaunee Miners Football team scored two quick touchdowns in the first quarter and never looked back in a 47-0 win over Hancock on Friday night. Negaunee improves to 2-1 on the season after the convincing victory, holding the Bulldogs to zero first downs in the first half. Mark Evans and Gregg Nelson had the call live from Hancock on Sunny 101.9.
Negaunee started the game with the ball first at midfield. It took the Miners only three plays to find the end-zone capped off with a two-yard touchdown run from fullback Nico Lukkarinen after a long run by running back Easton Palomaki. Philip Nelson tacked on the extra point, and Negaunee led 7-0 only 54 seconds into the game. Hancock couldn’t get much going on its first possession, as Palomaki and Bode Bonovetz made plays for the Miners’ defense. The Bulldogs had to punt, and Negaunee set up shop at its own 37-yard line. Negaunee drove downfield with runs from Palomaki, Lukkarinen and quarterback Gerald Johnson. After having to recover his own fumble, Johnson made up for it with a fourth down completion to Nelson to move the chains inside of the Bulldogs’ 25-yard line. The Miners appeared to have capitalized with a Palomaki touchdown run, but the play was called back due to a holding penalty. However just two plays later, Lukkarinen broke through the line for his second touchdown of the game – this time from 14 yards out. Nelson’s extra point went through, and Negaunee took a 14-0 lead with under four minutes left in the first. The tough start continued for the Bulldogs, as the duo of quarterback Vanden Jacques and running back Todd Anderson weren’t getting much going on the ground. The third down play to Chad Nordstrom was blown up by the Miners, forcing a second consecutive punt. Negaunee had opportunities to get back in scoring position, but a drop and a holding penalty forced the Miners to punt as the quarter came to an end.
End of 1st: Negaunee Miners 14, Hancock Bulldogs 0
The second quarter looked a lot like the first for Hancock’s offense, as the Miners’ defense caused another three-and-out. Negaunee looked to avenge its mistakes on the previous drive, and went at the Bulldogs head on with the running game. On third down, Negaunee went to the passing game with a 12-yard touchdown from Johnson to Nelson. The extra point was good for Nelson after his touchdown, extending the Miners’ advantage to 21-0 with 8:29 left in the first half. Palomaki continued to be a terror on defense for Negaunee, sacking Hancock’s Brad Johnson on third down. A poor Bulldogs’ punt gave the Miners good field position once again. It didn’t take the Miners long before Johnson threw his second touchdown pass of the game to Brenten Belanger from 38 yards out. Nelson’s kick was up and through, making it 28-0 halfway through the second quarter. On Hancock’s next possession – it was more of the same – tough sledding. Negaunee forced its fifth punt in five possessions, and had another drive begin with great field position at the Hancock 27-yard line. The incredible first half continued for Negaunee with Palomaki dashing to the end-zone for his second score. The extra point this time was no good after a bad snap, but nonetheless, it was 34-0. Hancock got stuffed once more, and the Miners ran the half out with a couple of nice plays. Heading into the break, Negaunee dominated from start to finish with a 34-0 halftime lead.
Halftime: Negaunee Miners 34, Hancock Bulldogs 0
Hancock got the ball to start the second half, and finally picked up multiple first downs to advance into Negaunee territory. The Bulldogs continued to move the ball with a long pass from Johnson to Nordstrom down to the Miners’ 17-yard line. Unfortunately for the Bulldogs, they couldn’t move any further as Bonovetz and Drake Spickerman sacked Johnson for a 16-yard loss on fourth down. Negaunee took over at its own 33-yard line, and Palomaki took the ball to midfield on the opening play of the series. Continuing to march down the field, Negaunee kept running the ball at a successful rate. Down towards the goal-line, Lukkarinen scored from eight yards out for his third touchdown. The score was 40-0 after the missed extra point, and the running clock was on. Hancock started its next drive at its own five-yard line after a deep kick, and the Bulldogs fumbled the ball right back to Negaunee’s Mitchell Paltzer. Starting the possession from five yards out, the Miners scored again with a one-yard run from Brady Roose. Nelson’s kick was good, giving Negaunee a 47-0 lead with two minutes left in the quarter.
End of 3rd: Negaunee Miners 47, Hancock Bulldogs 0
The Bulldogs looked to get on the board in the fourth quarter, and Johnson completed another big pass to Nordstrom. Again the drive was stopped quickly with another turnover on downs, the Miners’ defense was a menace from top to bottom. The running clock continued to bleed in the fourth quarter, and the game was coming close to the end with effective running from Dan Schouten, James Thomson and Kainoa Lacar for Negaunee. On fourth down, the Miners picked up a big completion from Gavin Saunders to Gavin Jacobson. Chase Bonovetz broke through on the following play down to the Hancock five-yard line to end the ball game. Negaunee had a complete effort on both sides of the ball, and the Miners improved to 2-1 after a huge 47-0 win over Hancock.
Final Score: Negaunee Miners 47, Hancock Bulldogs 0
NEXT GAME: The Negaunee Miners Football team (2-1) will stay on the road in Week 4, as it travels to Manistique to battle the Emeralds at 7 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 17! Mark Evans and Gregg Nelson will be live from Manistique with the call on Sunny 101.9, and all of the coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. with The Elder Agency Pregame Show. Go Miners!