Negaunee, MI – October 29, 2021 – The Negaunee Miners football team came out of the first round districts with a win over the Gladstone Braves 42-28. Negaunee moves onto the second round to take on the Calumet Copper Kings. Mark Evans and Gregg Nelson had the call from Negaunee on Sunny 101.9.
It was a slow start to the first round districts match up as each team’s offense stalled to start.
Negaunee started with the ball but turned it over on downs rapidly. Gladstone started their game with a quick three and out and they decide to punt it.
Negaunee couldn’t convert on third and five so they decided to punt it away once again to Gladstone. Cole Potier’s 7 yard run was erased by a 15 yard sack and Gladstone gives the ball back to the Miners. Negaunee got the first down amongst both teams. Lukkarinen lost the ball which resulted in Gladstone picking it up. Gladstone took their turn in fumbling and lost the ball, giving the Miners a chance to take the lead but they would fail to do so.
End of 1st: Negaunee Miners 0, Gladstone Braves 0
Negaunee decided to go for it on fourth and one, they converted giving them a new set of downs. The Miners were met with another fourth down but they convert, keeping the drive alive.
Lukkarinen broke through and got the Miners offense to Gladstone’s 25 yard line. Lukkarinen punched it into the end zone giving the Miners the 7-0 lead and the first points in the game.
Nate Young got the first down for the Braves and an extra 15 yards was piled on after a face mask was called. It came down to a fourth down for the Braves but Young got sacked resulting in a turnover on downs. Much like the first quarter, the second quarter was slowing down but Brady Roose electrified the game with a touchdown extending Negaunee’s lead to 14-0.
Halftime: Negaunee 14, Gladstone 0
The second half started off shaky for the Braves as they nearly lost the ball on the kickoff return.
Belanger knocked the ball down on a ball intended for Hunter Solls leaving the Braves with a third and long. Phillip Nelson got Miner fans on their feet with a 64 yard touchdown giving them the 21-0 lead. The Braves drive was stalled with Belanger causing an incomplete pass forcing a fourth down which Gladstone converted. Belanger picked off the Braves. Brady Roose capitalized on that with a 55 yard rushing touchdown. The Miners took the 28-0 lead.
End of 3rd: Negaunee 28, Braves 0
Vitito got the Braves their first points of the game with a 75 yard receiving touchdown, the Braves still trailed 6-28.
The Miners punted the ball away giving the Braves some life.
The Braves were moving down the field but came down to a fourth and 20. On fourth and 20 Young threw a pass that was picked off by Phillip Nelson for a 66 yard pick six extending the Miners’ lead to 35-6. Gladstone shortened the lead to 35-14 with a touchdown and a two point conversion. The Miners rebuttal was short and sweet as they had a three and out. The Braves came down to a fourth down, they go for it and convert to get the first down. The lead was trimmed down once again to 35-22 as Berhaume got a touchdown for the Braves. The Miners offense continued to slow down as they came down to a 3rd and long. More stalling for the Miners’ offense as they were penalized with a holding call resulting in a fourth down. The Braves had a chance to get right back in the game with this drive. Their drive started slow with a Vitito run that went nowhere. Young gunned the ball down the field for a 66 yard touchdown to cut the lead down even further to 35-28. The Miners nearly answered with their own touchdown but the play was called back with an illegal block. Gerald Johnson gets an 8 yard gain to give the Miners some much needed life to finish this game out. Johnson got the Miners a very necessary first down with 2:27 remaining in the game. Belanger puts the game away with a Miners’ touchdown giving them the 42-28 lead. The Braves tried to make one last attempt but Negaunee picks off the pass to seal the game and send the Miners to the second round.
Final Score: Negaunee 42, Gladstone 28
NEXT GAME: The Negaunee Miners take on the Calumet Copperkings in the second round of the playoffs. Mark Evans and Gregg Nelson will have the call on Sunny 101.9! Go Miners!
Listen to Full Game Here: NEGAUNEE VS GLADSTONE ON SUNNY 101.9