BARAGA - Two football teams searching for an elusive first win of the season hooked up Friday night at the Osterman Athletic Complex.
When the dust cleared, it was the Gwinn Modeltowners who walked away on the plus side of the ledger with a 42-10 victory.
"It's a big win for this bunch of kids," GHS coach Darren Sinnaeve said. "We're two programs that have been struggling, but I'm just so happy for the seniors to finally taste some success."
Gwinn fullback Owen DeVooght runs around Baraga defender Chris Goodreau during the Modeltowners’ 42-10 victory at the Vikings field on Friday evening. (Houghton Daily Mining Gazette photo by Paul Peterson)
The win was the first for the Modeltowners in at least a couple of seasons and came after a season when the team canceled its final five games because of a lack of players.
Both teams fumbled on their first possessions, but it was the Marquette County team that cashed in first.
Quarterback Justin Nyquist dashed in from 17 yards out and Owen DeVooght added the PAT with a run for an 8-0 reading.
Another Baraga miscue led to a short Gwinn scoring drive after that, tailback Caleb Floars scoring from 15 yards out.
Nyquist got loose for a 51-yard scoring run later in the opening period, then flipped a pass to Nick Miller for the PAT for a 22-0 lead.
Baraga finally got untracked and marched to the Gwinn 1 before running out of downs on the first play of the second quarter.
But the Vikings got some life when Gwinn's high snap sailed over the end line for a safety. On the ensuing free kick, senior back Chris Goodreau split the seam and raced 63 yards for a touchdown. Goodreau passed to Dillon Hucksteadt for the PAT and it was suddenly a 22-10 game.
"They (Vikings) scored 10 points about as fast as you can," Sinnaeve said. "But we came right back and that was good to see."
Gwinn needed just three plays to cover 66 yards - Floars covering the final 21.
That made it 28-12 at the halftime break and set the stage for a quiet second half in the first meeting of the two schools since the early 1960s.
DeVooght had a big game for the 1-3 winners, grinding out 148 yards in 13 carries. Nyquist added 83 in four tries, while Floars had 81 in 11 rushes.