Back-to-back titles: Marquette wins Great Northern Conference championship with 27-6 win over Escanaba

Marquette’s Ty Lotterman intercepts a pass by Escanaba’s Brandon Frazer in the first quarter of their Great Northern Conference high school football game played at William R. Hart Stadium in Marquette on Friday. (Photo courtesy Daryl T. Jarvinen)

MARQUETTE — It may have come in a shortened season, but a conference championship still means something to the Marquette football team.

For the second straight season, the Redmen won the Great Northern Conference thanks to a 27-6 victory over Escanaba on Friday night.

“Being (that I’m) from Escanaba and playing for this every year, it’s one of the main things you have every year and it’s the GNC,” Marquette head coach Eric Mason said. “Unfortunately, I think this is the last year for it. So it’s very rewarding in that way.”

At the other end of the field, Escanaba head coach Dave Howes was a little disappointed about the loss, but was more happy that his team was able to get on the field as the Eskymos had been unable to play a game until Friday.

“Like I told the kids in the end zone a little while ago, hey, we got to play a football game, so everybody was happy about that,” he said. “The outcome wasn’t there, but wins and losses doesn’t mean anything right now.

“It doesn’t mean a darn thing because everybody gets to make the playoffs and to just be able to play a game through this COVID stuff, it’s big for the kids.”

Marquette struck first on its opening play from scrimmage when quarterback Austin Ridl found a streaking Kam Karp down the left sideline for a 64-yard touchdown. With the extra point, the Redmen led 7-0.

“Honestly, over the last several games, we’ve started very slow,” Mason said. “And to come out and do what we did today, I just have nothing but love for these kids and the fact that they just came out and did everything we’ve asked of them is just fantastic.”

It look as if the Eskymos were going on answer back on their first possession, but a touchdown pass from Brandon Frazer to Tyler Lawson was called back due to a costly penalty. Just a few plays later, Frazer was hit as he threw a pass and it was intercepted by Marquette’s Ty Lotterman.

Marquette later padded its lead to two TDs with 3:31 left in the second quarter on a 29-yard run by Brady Wright. With the extra point, Marquette took a 14-0 advantage into the second half.

With the help of some careless Redmen penalties and some nice passing from Frazer, Escanaba drove deep into Marquette territory late in the third quarter. With 1:25 left, Ryan Randell plowed into the end zone from five yards out to make the score 14-6 in favor of the Redmen.

Marquette got back on track on the ensuing possession. Ridl found Lotterman for a 32-yard gain and then hit Karp with a 21-yard pass to get the ball near the Eskymos’ goal line. On the next play, Wright leapt into the end zone, and with the extra point, the score was 21-6 with 15 seconds left in the quarter.

The Redmen capped off their victory with 5:45 left in the fourth quarter when Ridl connected with Jordan Jurmu for a 69-yard touchdown pass.

Ryan Stieg can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 252. His email address is rstieg@miningjournal.net.


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