Bring the hammer
Negaunee scores early, often in 42-8 blowout of Manstique
NEGAUNEE — The Negaunee football team had an opportunity to move one step closer to a playoff bid Friday night and made sure to take advantage of it.
The Miners led 20-0 after one quarter and continued to pile it on for a 42-8 blowout win over Manistique.
Negaunee receiver Drew DuShane had a huge game, catching a touchdown pass and returning a kickoff and a punt for scores.
“I spotted some holes and our blocking has been really good lately,” DuShane said. “So I just kept using my speed to get to the edge.”
Miners head coach Paul Jacobson was impressed with his team’s effort and how it gotten its season on track after an 0-3 start.
“We really executed tonight on both sides of the ball,” he said. “Manistique is a little down this year and we just came out strong quickly.
“There’s a lot of things that helped us turn things around. The seniors took some ownership of how things were going and the younger guys started getting up to speed. They started to believe in themselves and started playing with confidence.
“They’ve really started to come together as a team and it’s been a nice transformation from the start of the year.”
Negaunee got on the scoreboard first on a 1-yard TD run by Jake Hill for a 6-0 lead. The Miners struck again a little more than a minute later when quarterback Jason Waterman hit DuShane with a 70-yard scoring pass. This time, kicker Erik Salminen made the extra point and Negaunee led 13-0.
“On that play, I saw their guy and he wasn’t really looking at me,” DuShane said. “Coach asked me if I could get him and that’s what I did.”
The Miners weren’t finished, though. After Ander Sorenson picked off a Manistique pass and took it deep into Emeralds territory, Negaunee running back Robbie Williams plunged into the end zone for the touchdown. With Salminen’s extra point, the Miners led 20-0 after the opening quarter.
In the second, Negaunee kept rolling. Waterman continued to connect with his receivers and capped off a nice drive with a 6-yard touchdown pass to Luke Skewis.
With the Miners up 27-0, DuShane racked up his second score of the night when he returned a punt for a 70-yard TD. He then caught the 2-point conversion pass from Waterman and Negaunee led 35-0 at the half.
“Drew’s a special kid, no question about it, and he’s only a sophomore so he’s only going to get better,” Jacobson said. “We’re very fortunate to have him because he’s got some great speed and field vision.”
The second half opened with a running clock and for good reason as Negaunee continued to roll. On the opening kickoff, DuShane broke free down the near sideline for an 80-yard TD and with Salminen’s kick, the Miners led 42-0.
Manistique scored midway through the fourth quarter on a 9-yard touchdown run by D.J. Bowers to prevent the shutout. Christian Aldrich picked up the 2-point conversion.
Negaunee hosts Marquette on Friday, while Manistique travels to Westwood.
Ryan Stieg can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 252. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.