West Ishpeming, MI – October 25, 2019 – The Negaunee Miners Football team started slow, and it cost them dearly in its 42-14 loss to the Westwood Patriots. The Miners finish the regular season at 6-3, and now await its first round playoff opponent next week. Mark Evans and Gregg Nelson had the call from West Ishpeming on Sunny 101.9.
The Patriots received the ball to open up the final regular season game, and didn’t take long to make a big play as quarterback Taylor Dellangelo found his tight end Luke Mariuzza down the field for a big gain inside of the Miners’ 30-yard line. Westwood’s offensive line was doing an impressive job of blocking, and the backs Erik Anderson and Dellangelo took advantage by getting inside of the five-yard line. Two plays later, Dellangelo found the end-zone for a two-yard score to put Westwood in front. Anderson caught the two-point conversion pass, and the Patriots led 8-0 after a commanding 65-yard drive. Things didn’t get much better for the Miners, as they couldn’t recover the kickoff from Westwood’s Chad Pohlman. The Patriots recovered the squib, and were set up beautifully for its second drive at the Negaunee 27-yard line. Once again, Westwood drove the ball down the field in a hurry. Facing first and goal from inside of the one-yard line, Dellangelo scored for his second touchdown of the night to extend the lead. Anderson caught his second two-point conversion of the night, and the Patriots marched out to an early 16-0 lead with three minutes left in the first quarter. The Miners recovered the next kickoff, and finally were on offense as the first quarter winded down. Negaunee’s first three offensive plays of the night were an incomplete pass, a one-yard gain and a sack. A three and out forced Erik Salminen to punt it the football right back to the Patriots. After the a couple of Westwood runs, the quarter reached its end. The Miners trailed by 16 points after the opening quarter.
End of 1st: Westwood Patriots 16, Negaunee Miners 0
The first positive of the game would pop up for the Miners, as Dellangelo’s third down pass was incomplete. Westwood was forced to punt, however the Miners gave them the ball right back after a three and out of its own. Negaunee ran six plays through one and half quarters of play, and the game only got worse as Pohlman returned the punt 71 yards for Westwood, and was tackled by the punter Salminen at the Miners’ five-yard line. After a penalty pushed them backwards, Anderson scored from seven yards out to make the score 22-0. The two-point conversion was no good, but the Miners were in need of a big comeback. Running back Nash Hillier had the first big play for the Miners on the night with an 11-yard carry. However after Hillier’s run set up third down and one yard to go, Waterman’s quarterback sneak was short of the first down. Down by 22, the Miners were forced to go for it on fourth and short at its own 44-yard line. Negaunee’s offensive line came through as Waterman kept it again and picked up the huge first down. However on the next play, Waterman’s deep pass intended for wide receiver Alex Munson was intercepted by the Patriots. Westwood started its next possession at its own 10-yard line after being pinned deep by the interception. As the first half winded down, the Patriots played it conservatively as they used all three timeouts. The Miners got the ball back with 10 seconds left in the half and just handed it off to wind down the clock. At halftime, the Patriots led 22-0 in a crucial week nine game.
Halftime: Westwood Patriots 22, Negaunee Miners 0
Negaunee started the second half with the ball and had its best drive of the game at that point, as Hillier ran hard for the Miners. Negaunee’s offensive line was beginning to play better in the third quarter, and so was the offense as a whole. The Miners crossed midfield and were forced with fourth down and four yards to go. Waterman’s pass was complete, but Westwood made the tackle short of the sticks, it was a turnover on downs. That was back-breaking play for Negaunee, their chances looked bleak. The Patriots continued to its game of ground and proud, Dellangelo was effective rushing the football. He went on to break three big runs on the drive, setting up Westwood with a first and goal. Once again, Dellangelo’s name was called, and delivered with a five-yard touchdown run. Pohlman ran in the two-point conversion try, and the score was 30-0. Pohlman kicked off again for Westwood, and for a second time, his squib was picked up by the Patriots. As the third quarter came to its end, the game was all but over. Westwood led Negaunee 30-0 with one quarter left to play.
End of 3rd: Westwood Patriots 30, Negaunee Miners 0
The Patriots had tremendous field position, but the Miners’ defense refused to give up and made a big fourth down stand. The offense also came alive, as Waterman’s run game was being established by Negaunee. The running attack set up Negaunee at the Westwood 40-yard line. On the next play, Waterman found Munson deep in the end-zone for the touchdown. The two-point attempt was no good, and they trailed 30-6 with nine minutes left in the game. Negaunee was trying to make things interesting, but the Patriots wouldn’t let that happen. On the very next play, Anderson busted a 63-yard run for the touchdown. Westwood’s lead was back up to 30 points, after the unsuccessful two-point conversion kept the score at 36-6. The Miners continued to rally however, as Waterman threw his second touchdown pass of the game, this time to Tanner Cain. Waterman scored the two-point, and made the score 36-14 in favor of Westwood. The Patriots got the ball back, and were content on running out the rest of the game. However, the Patriot offense continued to execute, this time Stephen Kangas scored a touchdown. They kneeled on the two-point conversion, and the scoring would end with Negaunee facing a 28-point deficit. The Miners lost the football game by a score of 42-14, finishing 6-3 in the regular season. They will have to wait until Sunday night to see who they will be paired up with in the first round of the MHSAA playoffs next week.
Final Score: Westwood Patriots 42, Negaunee Miners 14
NEXT GAME: The Negaunee Miners Football team is back in the MHSAA football playoffs next weekend after a two-year absence. The opponent and place are to be determined this Sunday, Oct. 25.