Negaunee, Michigan – November 4, 2016 – There is no shortage of drama in Michigan high school football playoff action. Friday night in Negaunee was no different. Coming into the game, the thought was it was going to be a hard-fought battle all the way through. The packed crowd got their monies worth as that is exactly how the game went.
Fans saw 46 minutes of defensive, scoreless football. Yards were hard to come by all night. 5 out of 6 possessions ended in punts in the first half, with the lone possession that didn’t result in a punt resulting in a turnover on downs.
The 2nd half started with Negaunee looking to get something going, but fumbled away the ball as they crossed midfield. With Calumet looking to capitalize on the momentum, Negaunee’s defense hung tough. They forced a Calumet punt and kept things deadlocked at 0-0. Negaunee was almost able to force a safety towards the end of the quarter, but Calumet was able to stay out of their own end zone.
The fourth quarter is when the game brought the high drama. With Negaunee looking to punt around midfield, Calumet was able to block the punt. But other than blocking it and falling on it, the Miners were able to pick it up and kick again, resulting in Calumet taking over from the original line of scrimmage.
Calumet took over the ball and was able to capitalize. With a strong drive eating up clock as well as yards, the Copper Kings found themselves inside the 10 yard line. Calumet got the ball down to the 1 yard line and were facing 4th and goal. With Negaunee looking for the biggest stop of their season, David Kaipio was able to find the end zone. The score gave Calumet a 6-0 lead with just 2:14 left to play.
With just one timeout, Negaunee took over possession on their own 25 yard line. 3 plays later they had advanced 30 yards with minimal time coming off the clock. On a 3rd down play, the Miners were flagged for holding, which moved them back 10 yards and they were facing a 3rd and 30. Quarterback Brock Aho threw up a pass with one Negaunee player and 4 Calumet players in the area. Eric Hurst went up to fight for the ball and came down with it at the 5 yard line. The Miners were in business with 53 seconds to play.
A false start for the Miners moved Negaunee back to the 10-yard line, where they faced second and goal. After 2 incomplete passes, they were down to their final play. Brock Aho threw one into the end zone but it fell to the ground. For the 2nd consecutive year, Calumet defeated the Miners in the playoffs.
The Miners finish the season Mid Peninsula Conference Champs and with a 10-1 record. It was a great game to end a great season.
Make sure to tune into Sunny FM for Miners basketball and football!