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Dominating finish: Marquette football team ends regular season with 28-6 win at Calumet

Calumet’s Dryden Nelson, right, rushes while being pursued by Marquette’s Ty Lotterman, front left, and Kameron Karp during their high school football game played Friday in Calumet. (Houghton Daily Mining Gazette photo by Adam Niemi)

CALUMET — A snow-covered Agassiz Field led to a slick football game on Friday between the Calumet Copper Kings and

Marquette Redmen.

But the Redmen found their footing and put together a 28-6 victory on the final night of the regular season in this shortened football campaign.

On their first drive, the Redmen moved the ball down to the Calumet 3-yard line but were stopped by the Copper Kings’ defense. It might have been Calumet’s finest defensive effort of the night because the game tilted towards Marquette thereafter.

“That was great right there as our defense did a heck of a job with our backs against the wall,” Calumet head coach John Croze said.

On Marquette’s next possession, the Redmen put together another long drive, this one covering 86 yards that culminated in a 5-yard touchdown scramble by quarterback Austin Ridl.

The Redmen made it 14-0 following a short drive set up by a blocked punt that started them on the Calumet 30. Ridl hit receiver David Eberhard for the touchdown pass as the snow did’t seem to be an obstacle for Marquette’s quarterback.

“I wasn’t sure if we were going to be able to play our game in the snow, but we did a good job of adapting to the conditions,” Ridl said. “It took me a little while to find my footing, but I wanted to throw the ball and I give credit to our receivers who went all out.”

The Copper Kings got their first score after a 35-yard kickoff return by Dryden Nelson that put their offense on Marquette’s 40. Three plays later, Tom Erkkila took it down the sideline for a 34-yard score.

It was Ridl-to-Eberhard again just before half time. On fourth-and-10 on Calumet’s 45, Marquette head coach Eric Mason gambled and it paid off when Ridl successfully fired a 45-yard pass to Eberhard that made it 21-6 at halftime.

“We played well,” Mason said. “I was just happy with their effort and very proud of them. Austin (Ridl) took control and was fantastic.”

In the third quarter, the Redmen added seven more points thanks to a 47-yard scamper by Ridl out of the backfield for the final points of the night.

“They have a lot of good athletes and put pressure on us vertically and horizontally all night,” Croze said. “They are well coached and play hard.”

The Copper Kings were missing three players because of disciplinary issues earlier in the week, but Croze said that wasn’t an excuse for the loss.

“Our kids our tough and gritty and showed it all night tonight against a very good football team,” he said. “We need to regroup and get ready for the playoffs.”

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