Negaunee, MI – October 2, 2020 – One week after a disappointing road loss, the Negaunee Miners got back on track with a big 29-6 win over the L’Anse Purple Hornets on Homecoming to improve to 2-1 on the season. Mark Evans and Gregg Nelson had the call from Miners Stadium in Negaunee on Sunny 101.9.
Negaunee’s fumble troubles continued into this week, as they fumbled the opening kickoff of the game, and the Purple Hornets recovered. L’Anse started with great field position, but couldn’t pick up a first down as quarterback Alex Kissel was sacked by Preston Toutant of the Miners for a turnover on downs. The backfield duo of Lukas Nelson and Nash Hillier took over the offense for the Miners, slashing the Purple Hornets’ defense. However, the drive quickly stalled as quarterback Gerald Johnson’s fourth down pass to Matthew Skewis was incomplete for a turnover on downs. Defense was the story of the game in the early going, as on the next possession, L’Anse was stuffed on a fourth down run for its second turnover on downs of the game. Negaunee showed signs of a good drive with Hillier springing out a big run inside of the L’Anse 10-yard line. After getting into prime scoring territory, the Miners fumbled again inside of the five-yard line as Nelson lost the ball and L’Anse fell on top of it. The Purple Hornets got some breathing room after a couple of nice runs from Flash Gagnon and Dysean Allen, but punted the ball back to the Miners. Hillier had another nice run across midfield, and the first quarter came to an end with a 0-0 score.
End of 1st: Negaunee Miners 0, L’Anse Purple Hornets 0
Negaunee kept its drive, as Johnson kept the ball for a big run down to the L’Anse 14-yard line. After a few short runs, Hillier was tackled short of the first down inside of the 10-yard line, L’Anse picked up a big spot. Action started picking up when the Purple Hornets’ skill players were getting involved in the passing game from Kissel. L’Anse marched down the field, and a quarterback keeper from Kissel gave them the ball inside of the Negaunee 15-yard line. On third down, Kissel found Presley Rasanen for the three-yard touchdown pass to give L’Anse the lead. The Miners blocked the extra point try, but trailed 6-0 with under four minutes remaining in the half. On the ensuing kickoff, Philip Nelson received it and went all the way to the endzone for a 89-yard touchdown. Nelson kicked the extra point afterwards, and gave the Miners a 7-6 lead. Both teams had more crack at it before the half, but no points were scored. After one competitive half of play, Negaunee led L’Anse by one point.
Halftime: Negaunee Miners 7, L’Anse Purple Hornets 6
L’Anse started the second half with the ball, but it was the beginning of the end for the Purple Hornets with a punt. The Miners took over and went down the field with short field position, and Lukas Nelson punched it in for the touchdown. Eli Luokkala caught Johnson’s pass for the two-point conversion to extend the lead to 15-6 with 7:25 left in the third quarter. Both teams took a lot of time off of the clock, and the Negaunee defense was putting a lot of pressure on Kissel trying to pass the ball down the field. After forcing another punt, all of the momentum was on Negaunee’s side as it ticked down the rest of the quarter, a drive capped off with an eight-yard touchdown from Lukas Nelson. Philip Nelson’s extra point was good, and the Miners led 22-6 with one quarter left to play.
End of 3rd: Negaunee Miners 22, L’Anse Purple Hornets 6
Negaunee continued its complete team effort in the fourth quarter, after forcing another punt, Johnson connected on a deep pass to Philip Nelson inside of the five-yard line. Lukas Nelson scored his third touchdown of the game from four yards out, and Negaunee led 29-6 with 9:35 left after Philip Nelson’s extra point. Both teams wouldn’t add to the scoring for the remainder of the game, and after a lot of substitutions, the Miners cruised to a 29-6 victory over L’Anse to go to 2-1 on the year.
Final Score: Negaunee Miners 29, L’Anse Purple Hornets 6
NEXT GAME: The Negaunee Miners are back in action on Saturday, Oct. 10, when they’re tentatively scheduled to battle the Gogebic Miners! Mark Evans and Gregg Nelson will have the call from Wakefield on Sunny 101.9, beginning with the Elder Agency Pregame Show at 1:30 p.m., and kickoff at 2 p.m. Go Miners!