Conference play dominates Week 4 in EUP football

By SCOTT CHURCH (schurch@eupnews.com)
EUPNews.com High School Sports Editor

BRIMLEY – The Rapid River Rockets came out early with everything they had on Friday night and Brimley had no answers. The Rockets found the end zone on their first eight possessions and simply buried the Bays 58-24 in a Bridge Alliance Conference matchup.

Rapid River had 26 points at the end of the first quarter, employing a no-huddle offense and a quick tempo that kept the Bay defense off-balance and worn out.

“We just didn’t tackle well,” Brimley coach Ron Lounds said. “We had been talking all week about tackling at the hips or lower and we didn’t do that very often tonight. We kept trying to hit them high up around the shoulders and we missed a lot of tackles.”

Despite the “hot knife through butter” effect that the Rapid River offense had on the Brimley defense, Lounds insisted that his Bays were not surprised by anything that the Rockets showed on offense.

“We ran their offense all week in practice and defended it,” he said.

Rocket Jake Pearson had the best night against the Bays. The Rapid River signal caller threw for four touchdowns, from 1, 40, 35, and four yards. He finished the night 10-of-13 for 139 yards. He also ran for 170 yards on 16 carries. Jake Berglund also had a good night on the ground, running 10 times for 95 yards in addition to catching a TD pass. Zach Pavlot was the leading receiver for the Rockets with four catches for 90 yards and a pair of scores.

Tommy Aikens got the Bays on the scoreboard with 7:25 left in the third with a 70-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. With the 2-point conversion, Brimley trailed 58-8. The Bays got on the board again in the fourth quarter with 9:30 left on a 74-yard touchdown run by Brimley quarterback Mike Kuenzer, which brought the score to 58-16.

Brimley added one more score with 2:32 left in the game as Justin Graham found paydirt from 11 yards out to cap the scoring.

Kuenzer led the Bays in the rushing column with 102 yards on six carries. He was 2-of-4 passing for nine yards and an interception.

Brimley, 2-2, will host Ewen-Trout Creek on Friday.

Trojans squeak past Eagles

ENGADINE – Both Cedarville and Engadine came into Friday night’s Bridge Alliance contest sporting 3-0 records and high-power offenses. Neither team was able to get its offense on track, and only the Trojans remain undefeated after a 13-12 win on the road.

It was a game filled with sloppy play, penalties, and turnovers for both teams. The Trojans turned it over five times and caught a lucky break as the Eagles turned the ball over on the Cedarville five-yard line while driving in for the winning score with roughly 2:30 left in the game.

“That was definitely a huge break for us,” said Cedarville coach Scott Barr. “Engadine is a really tough team. Very physical and very well coached. We had a few key guys get hurt early in the game and we turned the ball over way too much. But that’s a credit to them. They are very tough defensively.”

Cedarville quarterback Bobby Krakowski was at the center of it all for the Trojans. He scored both touchdowns for the team, but threw five interceptions, some coming in the red zone. His first score came on an 80-yard interception return for a touchdown, while the second came on a 10-yard QB keeper from 10 yards out with 6:00 left in the game, tying things at 12-12.

Cedarville lined up for the extra point, and was called for a five-yard penalty, backing up the kicker, DeTour native Kaden Barbeaux. It made no difference as Barbeaux got the kick through and gave the Trojans the lead for good.

“He’s really tough mentally,” Barr said of Barbeaux. “He didn’t really have a good night offensively, they kind of bottled him up but he didn’t let that affect him. He stayed focused and made the kick.”

One of the players knocked out for Cedarville was their starting center. Second stringer John Koster stepped in finished the game.

“You have to give him (Koster) a lot of credit,” Barr said. “We run a shotgun offense and for us to have someone in there who hasn’t been playing the position was a big thing to ask. He stepped in and did the job really well.”

The Engadine touchdowns came from Connor Frisch. The first was a two-yard pass to Lester Livermore to tie the game at 6-6, while the second was a Frisch keeper to put the Eagles up 12-6.

Frisch finished with 208 yards and a touchdown on 12-of-30 passing. Livermore led the receiving corps with seven catches for 152 yards and a score.

Todd Hecht led the Cedarville ground game with 56 yards on 10 carries, while Matt Hill and Barbeaux each had 36 yards receiving on three and four catches, respectively.

Defensively for Cedarville, Jason West finished with 10 tackles, while Dylan Badour and Barbeaux had nine stops each. Badour recovered the Engadine miscue that sealed the win, while Barbeaux had a pair of interceptions. Pat Weaver had eight tackles, while Matt Hill finished with seven.

For the Eagles, Bob Laverty led the defense with 15 tackles, two forced fumbles and a blocked punt. Jeff Bomber had 10 stops and two interceptions, while Robert Miller and Victor Collins had nine tackles each.

Cedarville, 4-0 will host Superior Central on Friday, while Engadine, 3-1, will play host to Rapid River.

Saints remain perfect

ROGERS CITY – The St. Ignace Saints scored early and often on Friday night and cruised to a 48-16 win in a Straits Area Conference contest against Rogers City.

St. Ignace built a 35-0 lead before Rogers City got on the board in the third quarter. Thurston Galloway accounted for three of those early scores, finding the end zone on runs of 41, 73, and 52 yards. He finished the night with 192 yards and three touchdowns on just six attempts.

Quarterback John Eby hit Parker Simmons for a 44-yard score and had a second TD through the air, finding Joe Ostman on a four-yard touchdown pass.

Simmons found paydirt again in the fourth quarter, this time on a 56-yard run, and Joe Krause capped the Saints’ scoring on a three-yard run in the fourth quarter.

Simmons had 64 yards rushing on three carries, while Krause ran nine times for 58 yards. Eby was 4-of-7 for 66 yards through the air with all four completions being caught by Ostman.

Ostman also led the way for the St. Ignace defense with 14 tackles and three sacks. Thurston had 12 tackles, while Nate Monte had eight stops and blocked a punt. Simmons chipped in to the defensive effort with a pair of interceptions.

The Saints, 4-0, will remain in conference on Friday when they host the Rudyard Bulldogs.

Panthers run wild over White Pines

PICKFORD – The Pickford Panthers had a big first half on Friday night and were not exactly hospitable to their Canadian guests, beating White Pines of Sault, Ont., 57-28.

Jordan Lavigne had two first quarter touchdowns for the Panthers, scoring on runs of 54 and 32 yards. Danny Babinsky added a two-yard score as the clock hit zero in the first quarter for a 24-6 Panther lead.

In the second quarter, the Pickford onslaught continued. Matt Goff found Jared Hatfield for a 76-yard scoring strike less than two minutes into the period, while Babinsky scored from 59 yards out just under two minutes later. Jarred Lavigne capped Pickford’s first half scoring with a five-yard TD run with 2:41 left to play.

Mitchell Hayward produced the offense for White Pines in the first half. He threw touchdown passes of 87 and 10 yards to Ben Katajamaki in the first half.

Jordan Lavigne scored the only points for either team in the third quarter, running one in from 51 yards out for a 51-12 lead.

Jarred Lavigne added one more score for Pickford in the fourth quarter, scoring on a 49-yard run to finish the scoring for the Panthers.

Jordan Lavigne led the Panther ground game with 154 yards and three touchdowns on just five rushes, while Babinsky carried the mail seven times for 121 yards and a pair of scores. Jarred Lavigne had 90 yards and two TDs on eight carries.

Through the air, Goff tried just three passes and completed all three for 111 yards and a score. Hatfield caught two of the three, including the touchdown for 84 yards.
For White Pines, Ben Muncaster carried 15 times for 110 yards and a touchdown, while Hayward was 9-of-22 through the air for 194 yards and two TDs. Katajamaki caught five passes for 135 yards and a score.

Defensively, the Panthers were led by Blake Kauffman with 10 tackles, while Jason Hill finished with seven.

The Panthers, 3-1, will host Stephenson on Friday.

Bulldogs right ship with Straits Area win

RUDYARD – The second quarter of Friday night’s football game between the Rudyard Bulldogs and the Newberry Indians proved to be action packed. There were four touchdowns in the game, all of them coming in the second period as Rudyard squeaked out a 14-13 win in their Straits Area Conference contest against Newberry.

The Bulldogs opened the scoring on a 26-yard pass from Caleb Salo Brandon Radle. John Rosebrock kicked the PAT to put the ‘Dogs up 7-0.

The next two scores belonged to the Indians as Dustin Brown returned the ensuing kickoff for a 70-yard touchdown. After a successful PAT, the score was knotted at 7-7.

Brown scored again later in the second from 33 yards out to make it 13-7, but the extra point was no good.

With just over 2:00 remaining in the second quarter, Rosebrock scored on a 6-yard run and then kicked the extra point for the 14-13 lead and eventually, the win.

“This was a good win for us,” said Rudyard coach Pat Maloney. “With only four teams in our conference, those games are especially important, and we’ve got another tough one next week.”

Rosebrock led the Bulldogs on the ground with 84 yards and a score on 19 carries, while Tyler Wilson finished with 12 carries for 54 yards.

Salo threw for 50 yards and a TD on 4-of-11 passing. Radle was the leading receiver for the ‘Dogs with two catches for 39 yards.

Defensively, Wilson and Alex Warner led the way with eight tackles.

Rudyard, 2-2, will face a tough road test on Friday, traveling to St. Ignace, while Newberry, 2-2, will host Munising.

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