Negaunee, MI – September 9, 2022 – The Negaunee Miners took care of business to improve to 3-0 with a dominant 47-6 win over the Hancock Bulldogs. In front of the 2002 State Championship team for their 20-year reunion, the Miners rolled and were led by Easton Palomaki’s four touchdowns. Mark Evans and Gregg Nelson had the call from Negaunee on Sunny 101.9.
The Miners started the game on defense first, and forced the first of many Hancock punts to come. A short kick in the wind set up Negaunee with good field position, and they took advantage with a six-play, 44-yard drive ending with a 10-yard touchdown plunge from Palomaki. Philip Nelson’s extra point was good, making it 7-0 Miners just 3:34 into the game. The Bulldogs were forced to punt again, but a Negaunee personal foul moved the chains. Hancock couldn’t do anything with it, and had to punt after three more plays. NHS had another short field, and after a big run from Kai Lacar, Palomaki ran in his second score of the game from 16 yards out. Nelson’s kick was good, and the Miners jumped out in front 14-0.
Hancock was finally able to pick up a first down on offense to start the second quarter with a 19-yard run by Trevor Halonen. Unfortunately for the Bulldogs, the drive ended there with another punt. Palomaki found success on the first two drives, but the third drive was all about Nico Lukkarinen. After a big run from Lukkarinen got the Miners inside of the five-yard line, he punched it in on the next play from two yards away. With the good extra point, it was 21-0 with 9:39 remaining in the half. Negaunee got another stop defensively, and the offense wasn’t done just yet. On a 31-yard pass play, Ty Jacobson found Kurtis Kangas in the end-zone for six. Nelson added another extra point, and it was 28-0. The Miners had time for one more score in the final minutes of the half, and got it on a three-yard touchdown by Palomaki. Lacar handled the kicking, and the extra point was no good. With a 34-0 score, the Bulldogs avoided the running clock for just a little longer. On the kick return, Mason Ulvila forced a fumble for Negaunee, giving them another great opportunity to score some points. With less than 10 seconds left, Palomaki ran in his fourth touchdown of the game. His incredible half boosted the lead to 40-0.
Negaunee started the 3rd quarter with a 2-yard touchdown by Chase Bonovetz. Hancock’s first drive started on their own 5-yard line, stalling out and punting to end their one and only drive in the quarter. Negaunee held on to the ball the whole 3rd. Negaunee ended their second drive with a turnover on downs inside at the 5-yard line to end the 3rd quarter. 3rd quarter ended with a score of 47-0 with Negaunee on top.
The 4th quarter starts with Hancock on their own 5-yard line again. This was the Bulldogs best drive all night, starting with a 27 yard catch by Dominick Pizzi, then ended the drive a 10-yard catch for a touchdown by Rajala. Negaunee got the ball back and continued to run out the clock. The final score ended with a 47-6 Miners win, taking them to 3-0. Hancock drops to 0-3, still seeking their first win.