09/03/2013 Negaunee, MI- It was a fantastic MPC battle in Negaunee this past Friday night, as the Negaunee Miners defeated the Manistique Emeralds 36-30. Junior quarterback Ryan Syrjala led the way for the Miners with two rushing touchdowns and one passing. Syrjala was able to hook up with wide receiver Zane Radloff on a 30-yard pass in the second quarter that gave the Miners a two touchdown lead. He kept the Miners momentum going as he scored on a 66-yard run on the first play of the second half and managed to score what would be the game-winning touchdown. Tyler LaJoie came up big as well for Negaunee as he scored a pair of touchdowns in explosive fashion; one on a 66-yard run (much like his teammate) and the other on an 80-yard kick return.
For the Emeralds Tyler Kangas (QB), Cole Potvin (WR), Michael Brock (FB) and Tony Floyd (RB) all made big plays for their team, keeping Manistique in the game. Kangas to Potvin seemed to be the theme of the Emerald offense as they hooked up repeatedly throughout the game. That, coupled with the running abilities of Floyd & Brock, gave the Negaunee defense trouble as the game progressed. However, it wasn’t enough as the Emeralds came up literally inches short on a fourth down conversion with just over two minutes left in the game, giving the Miners the 36-30 victory.
The Miners now look forward to a match up at home against the Calumet Copper Kings. Calumet is coming off of a tough loss to in-conference rival Northland Pines (WI) where they lost 26-20 on a fullback dive with just over 30-seconds left in the game. Calumet will be looking to avenge a 2012 season that included two losses to the Miners including a second-round playoff loss that ended the Copper Kings’ season. Calumet will try to pound the ball with their offensive leaders Tyler Roland and Chad Sturros against the Negaunee defense. The two combined for 233 rushing yards on 43 carries in last week’s loss to North Pines.
While it isn’t an MPC game, it will have that kind of feel to it. As I mentioned before, the Miners defeated the Copper Kings twice last season and will have to play a very sound game to make it three in a row. Both teams will look to eat up as much clock as possible by running the ball early & often. Tyler LaJoie will again be the focal point for the Miners going into this Friday’s game, despite playing a little banged up last week. In my post-game interview with Coach Jacobson last Friday, he mentioned that it was nothing serious, and just a make-up of soreness combined with possible dehydration. If I know the Negaunee athletic program like I think I do, LaJoie will be healed and well nourished looking to secure another victory for the Miners.
This looks to be a fantastic high-school match up and I would highly recommend that you attempt to make it down to Miner Stadium this Friday at seven o’clock. For those of you unable to come down to the field, be sure to tune in to Sunny.FM at 101.9 fm for all of your Negaunee Miner football action. Join me and my co-announcer Jesse Anderson at 6:30 pm (EST) for all of your pre-game coverage.
-Carl Leander Johnson
“The PROUD Voice of the Miners”