Negaunee, MI – September 6, 2019 – The Negaunee Miners Football team took the field at home for the first time this season, as they faced the Calumet Copper Kings from the confines of Miner Stadium! Mark Evans and Gregg Nelson had the call from Negaunee between the Miners and the Copper Kings on Sunny 101.9FM.
Calumet got the ball first in this slug fest, and they did what they do best: play smash-mouth football. They challenged the Miners’ defense early with tough runs inside, and gained a few first downs on the opening drive. However, the Miners rose to the challenge, and forced a Copper Kings punt after two plays were blown up by Leo Helppi and Bryce Dunstan. Negaunee would take over on offense, and they couldn’t move the ball, where they ended up going three-and-out. The Copper Kings moved the chains efficiently in the first quarter, as quarterback Scott Loukus and running back Nick Djerf were doing most of the damage. Calumet moved the ball into the red-zone, and fullback Jayden Gariepy punched it in for a touchdown from six yards out as the first quarter came to an end. Calumet led Negaunee 6-0 at the end of a quick opening quarter.
End of 1st: Calumet Copper Kings 6, Negaunee Miners 0
Negaunee began the second quarter with a good drive of their own, as the Miners’ rushing attack led them down the field. Eric Etelamaki and Will Luke brought the Miners down the field inside of Calumet territory. Jason Waterman would hand off the ball to fullback Lukas Nelson on the next play, and he did the rest. Nelson found paydirt from 28 yards out and just like that, the game was tied. Erik Salminen’s extra point was blocked however, and the game would remained tied at 6-6. The Copper Kings couldn’t get things going offensively, and were forced to punt the ball back to the Miners. Negaunee was moving the ball well on offense, their option game was working well. Calumet responded defensively however, as Loukus intercepted a Waterman pass, and got a good return. A pass interfence penalty gave the Copper Kings the ball inside the Miners’ 20-yard line, and they were trying to take back the lead. Calumet converted on a fourth down play, and they were back inside the five-yard line. It didn’t take long for Gariepy to score his second touchdown of the game from three-yards out, and the lead was back in favor of the road team. The two-point conversion was good, and Calumet led 14-6 in the late stages of the second quarter. The Miners began to run the ball well, they were doing a nice job up front. Drew DuShane caught a big third down pass to keep the drive alive, and Negaunee was marching down the field with under two minutes to go in the first half. Negaunee couldn’t capitalize however, as two incompletions on third and fourth down gave Calumet the ball back with under a minute remaining until halftime. Heading into the locker room, Negaunee trailed by eight points to Calumet.
Halftime: Calumet Copper Kings 14, Negaunee Miners 6
The Miners received the ball to start the second half, and they were finding success behind the legs of Jake Sikora and Nelson. Waterman would convert a big third down with a quarterback sneak, and Negaunee had the ball in Calumet territory. Negaunee had a nice drive going, but once again, turned the ball over on downs. The Miners couldn’t get in the endzone, and Calumet took over again with five minutes remaining in the third quarter. The clock was ticking down fast, and that wasn’t a good sign for Negaunee. The Copper Kings took advantage quick as Loukus connected with Dean Loukus on a 45-yard completion to put them at the Negaunee 25-yard line. It was only a couple of plays later when Dean Loukus found the endzone to extend the Calumet lead. After the successful two-point conversion, the Copper Kings led 22-6, and they were in total control of the ball game now. After three quarters, Calumet held a 16 point edge over the Negaunee Miners.
End of 3rd: Calumet Copper Kings 22, Negaunee Miners 6
After a good Alex Munson kick return to midfield, the Miners were in business to drive the football. Negaunee’s rushing attack was looking good, their backs ran hard and the linemen were having a much improved game. After a few first downs, the Miners were backed up against the wall with a fourth down, and once again they turned the ball over on downs in Calumet territory. The Copper Kings gave up some yards, but they made big defensive stops when they needed it. The Calumet offense capitalized once again, as Dean Loukus busted a run for 72 yards to score his second touchdown of the game, and the flood gates were open as the Copper Kings took a 30-6 lead with under nine minutes to go. The Miners seemed deflated, both because of the score and injuries to star players Etelamaki and DuShane in the first half. Things were not going Negaunee’s way at all as they were forced to punt and the snap went over the punter Salminen’s head, and Calumet once again had great field position. The Miners defense made a stop, but it was too little, too late. Both teams began to substitute and that would be all she wrote. The Calumet Copper Kings walked into Negaunee and picked up a 30-6 road win over the Negaunee Miners.
Final Score: Calumet Copper Kings 30, Negaunee Miners 6
NEXT GAME: The Negaunee Miners Football team will travel to Hancock on Friday, September 13, where they will battle the Hancock Bulldogs! Pregame starts at 6:30 pm with kickoff at 7:00 pm, listen to all the action from Mark and Gregg on Sunny 101.9FM.