09/05/14 Calumet, Michigan– Carl Leander Johnson the voice of the Negaunee Miners and his partner Jesse Anderson traveled to Calumet, Michigan tonight for an exciting non-conference battle between the Negaunee Miners & the Calumet Copper Kings.
The Copper Kings received the ball first in this game, and the Miners were ready to go. Calumet’s offense moved the ball well down the field, but stalled out at the Negaunee 30 yard line. Taking over on downs, Ryan Syrjala and the Negaunee offense moved the ball with ease, getting into Copper King territory after just two plays. The drive would end soon after, however, when an exchange between Ryan Syrjala & Zak Harsila led to a fumble that was recovered by Calumet. Despite some impressive plays on the defensive side of the ball, Calumet was able to take advantage of the Miners’ mistake with a touchdown run by fullback Kaden Kangas. The score would remain the same for the rest of the first quarter.
Negaunee would come out firing in the second quarter and was able to march down the field, leading to a score from senior fullback Zak Harsila. The Miners defense held the momentum on Negaunee’s side as junior defensive back Austin Johnson intercepted a Loukus pass and returned it into Copper King territory. This drive was just as effective and capped off by senior running back Ryan Bischoff diving into the end zone, putting Negaunee up 12-6 with 1:30 left in the first half. Calumet would drive into Miners territory, but ultimately wasn’t able to make the big play needed to score so quickly. The score remained pat going into halftime.
The Miners would receive first in the second half, and had a similar start as Calumet did in the first. After a quick drive, the Miners punted the ball back to quarterback Tyler Loukus & the Copper King offense. After a few good runs, Calumet went deep with success. Loukus was able to put up a great ball and junior wide receiver Sam Kariniemi made a spectacular catch to hold onto the ball, and combined with the two-point conversion, gave the Copper Kings their second lead of the game. The Miners would get the ball and answered right back with a touchdown of their own. Junior running back Austin Johnson broke four tackles on a 15-yard run to the end zone and eventually ended up in the end zone without a Copper King around him, giving Negaunee an 18-14 lead to end the third.
Calumet would begin the fourth quarter with the ball in their possession. They were able to get a big play from their junior running back Robert Erkkila, who scored on a big 50+ yard run. Calumet was able to get the two point conversion and lead the Miners 22-18, and unfamiliar situation for the Miners in recent years. This game exemplified U.P. football at its finest and Negaunee was not to be intimidated. They were able to drive down the length of the field with some great plays, including some out of their “diamond” package, which eventually led to another score for the Miners, this time senior captain & quarterback Ryan Syrjala was able to punch it in, putting Negaunee up 24-22. Calumet wasn’t any more intimidated than the Miners. They drove all the way inside the Miners 25 yard line, and had a 3rd and two situation, before a costly false-start pushed them back into a 3rd & seven. This led to one incomplete pass, followed by a near sack and short completion on fourth down that was short of the first down. The Miners took over on downs with just over four minutes left! Negaunee needed to acquire at least one first down to attempt to run out the clock and escape with a two point victory. Well, they got one first down and continued to run the ball to keep the clock running. Senior tailback Ryan Bischoff wasn’t interested in winning by just two points, however, and scampered his way to a 61-yard touchdown run to give the Miners a 30-22 lead. This is where this particular broadcaster asked the question: “When was the last time that an extra point was a really big deal in Negaunee Miners football?” due to the fact that Negaunee held an eight point lead, and a good extra point from Davison would put the game out of reach for the home-team Copper Kings. Davision would be successful and put the Miners up by nine 31-22.
The Negaunee Miners defeated the Calumet Copper Kings in Calumet, Michigan 31-22.
Negaunee had a big game on the ground and finished with 362 yards rushing accompanied by 36 passing yards. The Miners achieved 12 first downs in the game, but also had two turnovers. For the Copper Kings, their offense was up to the Miners’ pace, but still came up a little short. They finished with 267 yards on the ground with 57 yards through the air, most of that coming on a 40-yard bomb in the second quarter. They finished the game with two turnovers as well, one fumble and one interception by Austin Johnson.
Join Carl Johnson the voice of the Negaunee Miners and Jesse Anderson next Friday night September 12th, 2014 as the Negaunee Miners host the Gladstone Braves on Sunny.FM. Pre-game will start at 6:30pm and the game starts at 7pm!
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