L’Anse, MI – October 1, 2021 – The Negaunee Miners Football team traveled into L’Anse and picked up a convincing 42-0 win over the Purple Hornets on Friday night. Negaunee is now 5-1 on the season, and has won five games in a row. Mark Evans and Gregg Nelson had the call live from Volunteer Stadium in L’Anse on Sunny 101.9.
Negaunee got the ball first to start the action, and the Miners’ backfield duo of Easton Palomaki and Nico Lukkarinen were running the ball early and often. Facing third-and-five, Palomaki broke a run inside L’Anse territory to move the chains. On the next play, Lukkarinen ran the ball 36 yards down to the one-yard line. Lukkarinen cashed in on his next carry from one-yard out, and Philip Nelson’s extra point gave the Miners an early 7-0 lead with 9:21 left in the first. L’Anse bobbled the ensuing kickoff, and were pinned back deep in its own territory at the 15-yard line. The Purple Hornets got negative yardage in three plays, and after two penalties, had to punt the ball back to Negaunee. The Miners started at the L’Anse 38-yard line with excellent field position after the punt. After a run from Nelson, Palomaki went the distance from 18 yards out. Another made Nelson extra point extended Negaunee’s lead to 14-0 with 5:40 remaining in the quarter. L’Anse got a promising start to its next drive with a nice return by DySean Allen to its own 35-yard line. Allen had a big run into Negaunee territory on the first play, however it was brought back due to a holding penalty. The Purple Hornets were caught behind the chains, and matters became worse when a fumble was recovered by Bode Bonovetz of Negaunee. Two plays later, Lukkarinen stayed on his feet and skipped into the end-zone for a 31-yard score. Nelson’s kick was good, and it was already a 21-point game with less than four minutes to go in the opening quarter of play. The Purple Hornets tried to keep giving Allen the football, but the Negaunee defense sniffed out his runs each and every time. Another L’Anse punt ensued, and the Miners controlled the ball at midfield heading into the second quarter with a 21-0 lead.
End of 1st: Negaunee Miners 21, L’Anse Purple Hornets 0
Brady Roose was in at fullback for a spurt between the first and second quarters, and a couple of hard runs from him moved the chains for the Miners. Palomaki caught a screen pass a little while later, and scored from 31 yards out. With 11:44 to go until halftime, it was 28-0 Negaunee. L’Anse had the ball pinned back, and a fumbled pitch on the first play put the Purple Hornets behind the chains once again. A booming punt from Hunter Stanaway was caught by Brenten Belanger and a great return put the Miners at the L’Anse 18-yard line. Negaunee capitalized on another short field with a six-yard touchdown from Palomaki, and Nelson’s kick made it 35-0 with 6:51 to go. The Miners received the punt after another L’Anse three-and-out, and had decent field position just short of midfield. Negaunee got contributions from Palomaki, Lukkarinen, Roose and Kai Lacar on that drive. Capped off with an eight-yard score from Roose, Negaunee went up 42-0 with 1:16 remaining in the half.
Halftime: Negaunee Miners 42, L’Anse Purple Hornets 0
L’Anse showed some life on the first play of the third, as Allen took the hand-off 60 yards down to the Negaunee 20-yard line. The Purple Hornets were stuffed on the next four plays, including the fourth down carry, for a turnover on downs. Negaunee’s defense came through when it really needed to, and the Negaunee substitutions starting pouring in with the running clock ticking. Both teams traded possessions with a Negaunee punt and a L’Anse turnover on downs. The Miners got the football back as the third quarter came to an end.
End of 3rd: Negaunee Miners 42, L’Anse Purple Hornets 0
Like the third, the fourth quarter was scoreless and quick with the running clock. A Negaunee turnover gave L’Anse the ball back, but like the rest of the night, the Purple Hornets weren’t able to get on the board. Negaunee played complementary football once again, and had its fourth straight lopsided victory. The Miners are now 5-1 after the 42-0 win, and will be riding a five-game winning streak into next week.
Final Score: Negaunee Miners 42, L’Anse Purple Hornets 0
NEXT GAME: The Negaunee Miners Football team (5-1) looks to extend its winning streak to six games in a row on Friday, Oct. 8 when it hosts the Gladstone Braves! Mark Evans and Gregg Nelson will have the call live from Negaunee on Sunny 101.9, with coverage beginning at 6:30 p.m. with The Elder Agency Pregame Show, and kickoff will follow at 7 p.m. Go Miners!