NEGAUNEE, MI – 10/27/2014 – Well it wasn’t easy, but the Negaunee Miners are playoff bound for the third consecutive season. At 5-4, the Miners weren’t a lock to get invited to the dance like they were the past two seasons where they went 9-0 & 8-1 respectively. As I said going into last week’s contest with the Westwood Patriots, this Miners team is a head-scratcher. They had a lot of talent returning to the field, granted they did lose some key players along the lines and on the outside, but they were still a pretty senior-laden team. Ryan Syrjala has been very serviceable at quarterback in his second season at the helm. The three-headed backfield of Harsila, Bischoff, and Johnson has developed nicely into a tricky situation for defensive coordinators. The results just didn’t match up with the talent though. At the end of the day, the Miners are in. There won’t be any home games, barring an upset or two, as the Miners are starting off the playoffs in Charlevoix this Friday night.
The Rayders are coming in sporting a 6-3 record. They’re a team that can either dominate you or be dominated. In their six wins in 2014, they’ve outscored opponents 208-39, while shutting out three of their opponents. In their losses, however, they’ve been outscored 135-27, including a 42-0 beat down at the hands of Boyne City.
As has been the case with Negaunee all season long, the key to securing a victory will be mental discipline. The Miners are a mistake-prone team who hasn’t had the ball bounce their way a lot this season. With injuries, turnovers, and penalties all playing a factor in their losses, the Miners need to be the masters of their own destiny and not leave anything to chance. If Negaunee locks in mentally and can execute like they’re coached to, the Miners could be on their way to the second round!
Be sure to tune in this Friday night for all of the Negaunee Miners coverage. Pregame will begin at 6:30pm with a 7pm kickoff. Join Jesse Anderson and myself as we’ll bring you football night in Charlevoix. Go Miners!
-Carl Leander Johnson