No. 1 Gladstone Braves’ offense overwhelms Marquette 48-21 in high school football
MARQUETTE — The Marquette Senior High School defense didn’t have an answer for Gladstone quarterback Nate Young on Friday night at William R. Hart Stadium in Marquette.
Apparently no other Upper Peninsula high school football defenses do either as the Braves improved to a perfect 5-0 this fall with a 48-21 victory over the Redmen. Gladstone is tied for third in this week’s Associated Press state rankings in MHSAA Division 6.
Young completed 12 of 13 passes for 242 yards and five touchdowns, part of the Braves’ 497-230 edge in total yards, according to statistics from MSHS head coach Eric Mason.
But the game was close after one quarter with Gladstone leading just 20-14 before the Braves exploded for 22 unanswered points in the following period that gave them a 42-14 bulge at halftime, according to an account on the Fox Sports 105.1 FM-99.9 FM radio station website that covers the Redmen.
Marquette’s Nate Benninger opened the scoring on the game’s initial possession after the Redmen had a short field following a short kickoff and 15-yard pass interference penalty.
But Gladstone’s Tyler Darmogray made a big catch on the subsequent possession for a touchdown that with a successful 2-point conversion gave the visitors an 8-7 lead.
Darmogray finished the night with just three catches, but they totaled 126 yards and accounted for two TDs.
Young not only threw passes for the Braves, but defended Marquette’s passing game, too, making an interception to end the Redmen’s second possession. He then threw a 28-yard TD pass to Kaden Gibbs, also his first of two receiving TDs.
The offensive fireworks continued in the opening quarter as MSHS QB Jaxon Jurmu connected with receiver Pete Closner for a 37-yard scoring aerial, Closner’s only catch of the night, that tied it 14-14.
Jurmu completed 13 of 20 passes for 126 yards, two TDs and an interception after regular starter Jack Quinnell only attempted two passes, both intercepted.
The first-quarter scoring ended with Gladstone tacking on another TD when Darmogray caught his second TD, this one for 38 yards. Marquette had one more possession before the first quarter ended but turned the ball over.
The Braves began to pour it on as the second quarter began. Cole Potier scored on a 12-yard run, then after another interception thrown by MSHS, Young threw what was already his fourth TD pass, this one to Gibbs.
Following a quick three-and-out for the Redmen (1-4), the MSHS defense stiffened for a bit before Young broke loose again for yet another scoring pass, this one to Elliot Vitito that made it a 28-point game at halftime.
Gladstone kept the ball on the ground to start the third quarter, taking up well over half the quarter before Austin Solis ran it in from 31 yards out to make it 48-14.
Jurmu willed the Redmen to a TD on their first possession of the second half that started with only about four minutes left in the third. Jurmu threw an 18-yard pass to get MSHS inside the Gladstone 30 before scampering on a 19-yard run to get close enough to throw a TD pass to Wyatt Lakenen and make it 48-21.
The Braves started their ensuing possession at their own 4 and MSHS made them pay, forcing them to punt for the first time in the game early in the fourth quarter. Several more punts were traded with no scoring in the final period.
Benninger led Marquette’s 104-yard rushing attack with 35 yards on just three carries, while Jurmu gained 30 yards in five rushes. Lakenen caught four passes for 44 yards, while Benninger and Jan van den Ende each caught two passes for a total of 16 yards between them.
Potier paced Gladstone rushers with 149 yards on 23 carries, while Vitito caught four of Young’s passes for 44 yards.
Marquette hosts its homecoming game Friday against Escanaba. Game time has been moved up a half-hour to 6:30 p.m. to accommodate events surrounding the celebration, according to MSHS athletic director Alex Tiseo.
Meanwhile, the Braves put their perfect record on the line downstate when they play Friday at Durand, another 5-0 team that is ranked No. 7 in Division 6.
Information compiled by Journal Sports Editor Steve Brownlee. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.