Miners hit paydirt early and often in opener
By RYAN STIEG
Journal Sports Writer
NEGAUNEE – Teams always want to start the season off on the right foot and Negaunee definitely fulfilled that objective.
The Miners football team scored early and often Friday night in a 54-0 blowout win at home over Manistique. Negaunee quarterback Brock Aho ran for three touchdowns and running back George Johnson got into the end zone twice.
“I thought we came out and took care what we needed to take care of right away,” Miners head coach Paul Jacobson said. “I thought we looked good on offense and that we also covered well on defense.”
Negaunee got its first score after blocking a punt on Manistique’s first possession. Johnson scored three plays later on a 1-yard dive to put the Miners up 6-0.
After forcing another punt, Negaunee used a balanced attack to march down the field for another score. Aho connected with Parker Bowman for 35-yard and 20-yard pass to put the ball inside the Manistique 5-yard line. Aho then scored his first touchdown and with the two-point conversion, the Miners led 14-0.
“Brock works hard and I think he has really developed his throwing motion,” Jacobson said. “He’s got a great arm and he threw well tonight.”
On Negaunee’s next drive, Aho found Dylan Tasson for a 53-yard pass and later, he picked up his second rushing touchdown on a 1-yard sneak.
Down 21-0 in the second quarter, Manistique got a break when Jake Arnold picked off Aho deep in Emeralds’ territory. MHS quarterback Tony Hoholik found J.T. Hoholik for a 40-yard pass, while a first-down throw to Derek Nelson brought the ball to the Negaunee 35.
But running back Will Pomeroy fumbled soon after and ball turned back to the Miners. Negaunee scored on the ensuing possession to go up 28-0.
“We were kind of outmatched tonight,” Emeralds head coach Dennis Beaman said. “They’re a good football team and we just don’t have the numbers to match up with them.
“I thought we threw the ball well, we just need to execute the blocking schemes to get those screen passes to work. I think that’ll come around, though.”
On the Emeralds’ next possession, injury was added to insult when Tony Hoholik fumbled the snap and Negaunee’s Owen LaJoie returned the fumble for a 32-yard touchdown. Bu Hoholik was also injured on the play and carried off the field on a stretcher.
Negaunee took a 40-0 lead into the break and added two more touchdowns in the second half to finish off the win.
The Miners host Calumet on Thursday, while Manistique takes on Ishpeming Friday.
Ryan Stieg can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 246. His email address is rstieg@miningjournal. net.