Negaunee, MI – August 25, 2022 – The Negaunee Miners opened their 2022 campaign with a 19-14 victory over the Iron Mountain Mountaineers on Thursday evening at Miners Stadium.
Negaunee got the opening possession of the game, but the Iron Mountain defense held strong to force a three-and-out for the Miners. Negaunee responded in kind with a staunch defensive series, and before long it was Iron Mountain kicking the ball away. Neither team was able to generate any meaningful offense until halfway through the first quarter, when Iron Mountain registered the opening first down of the game. Despite a near-interception by the Negaunee defense, the Mountaineers were able to sustain their drive through the end of the frame, with the score 0-0.
End of First Quarter: Negaunee 0, Iron Mountain 0
Iron Mountain began the second quarter with an intercepted pass by Negaunee’s Gavin Jacobson, denying the Mountaineers as they approached the goal line. Nico Lukkarinen got the Miners some breathing room with a tough run to about the 20 yard line, and Negaunee kept their shoulders down, powering forward and pushing back Iron Mountain’s defense. Negaunee ended up drawing first blood on 4th and 4 with a 44 yard touchdown pass from Ty Jacobson to Kai Lacar. After adding the PAT, the Miners took a 7-0 lead. Iron Mountain’s offense fizzled with another three-and-out, and the Mountaineers were forced to punt to Negaunee. Iron Mountain intercepted a Miners pass not long thereafter, however, and found themselves with possession once again with just under a minute remaining in the half. Nothing would come of it though, and Negaunee held their lead going into halftime.
Halftime: Negaunee 7, Iron Mountain 0
Iron Mountain received the kickoff to begin the second half. Under pressure from the Negaunee defense, Mountaineers quarterback Joe Colavecchi was hit and fumbled the football, turning possession over to the Miners. Negaunee struggled to find momentum on offense in the face of plenty of pressure from Iron Mountain, and turned the ball over on downs. The Mountaineers wasted no time getting into scoring position, with Colavecchi heaving a 47 yard pass to Oskar Kangas to bring the visitors down to the one-yard-line. Bradon Farragh carried the ball the final yard into the end zone, and with Farragh also adding the extra point, the score was tied once again, this time 7-7.
End of Third Quarter: Negaunee 7, Iron Mountain 7
On the first play of the fourth quarter, Negaunee found paydirt with a 24-yard touchdown pass from Easton Palomaki to Philip Nelson. Nelson’s PAT attempt was blocked, however, and Negaunee’s newfound lead was only extended to 13-7. The Mountaineers had an opportunity to respond on the ensuing drive, but on 4th and 11, Colavecchi’s pass was incomplete to turn the ball over to Negaunee. The Miners took the following possession all the way, culminating in a short touchdown run by Lukkarinen. Negaunee’s two point conversion attempt was no good, but with the Miners up 19-7 and just over four minutes remaining in the game, Iron Mountain had a veritable mountain to climb.
Being Mountaineers, of course, the visitors made a strong push, and just over a minute later they scored on a pass from Joe Colavecchi to brother Matthew. The extra point was good, and with the score 19-14, Iron Mountain executed and recovered an onside kick at their own 47-yard-line. Negaunee kept their composure defensively though, and on 4th-and-15, the Miners intercepted a Colavecchi pass to put the game to bed. After a late onslaught from Iron Mountain, it was the Negaunee Miners victorious by a score of 19-14.
Final Score: Negaunee 19, Iron Mountain 14
Negaunee will look to continue their winning ways next Thursday, September 1, when they travel to Calumet to take on the Copper Kings. Join Mark Evans and Gregg Nelson for all the action on Sunny 101.9 or online here.