Barnes, Bulldogs blitz Baraga
BARAGA – Hancock High’s newest football addition had a big game Friday night as the Bulldogs rolled to an easy 49-0 victory over the Baraga Vikings.
Senior tailback Brandon Barnes, a transfer from Ohio, racked up four touchdowns in the non-conference romp.
Winning coach Matt Walter said the game provided him with the chance to get everyone ample playing time.
“It was a good game for us in that respect,” Walter noted. “A lot of guys had the chance to get out there and show what they could do.”
Baraga first-year coach Eric DeMink felt his team started out well enough.
“I thought we played aggressively at the beginning, but we made a couple of costly mental errors … that led to touchdowns for them (Bulldogs). That will cost you every time.”
Barnes tallied on runs of 25, 9, 15, and 24 yards as the outmatched Vikings couldn’t slow his power running.
In evening out at 1-1 on the season, the Crimson and Gold rebounded nicely after a tough loss to the Gogebic Miners last week.
Hancock senior quarterback Tanner Kearly put his team on the board first in the first quarter when he tossed a six-yard scoring pass to William Lucier. Kearly added the PAT on a run for an 8-0 lead.
The Vikings forced Hancock into a 4th-and-6 on the play before Kearly connected on the run.
Barnes scooted in from 25 yards a short time later to up the count to 14-0. A muffed BHS punt set up the scoring chance.
The score swelled to 22-0 before the end of the opening frame as Barnes bounced 9 yards for his second touchdown of the evening.
A nice 55-yard punt return by Hancock’s Jared Peryam early in the second frame upped the count to 30-0.
Barnes scored from 15 yards away later in the second period for a 37-0 reading at intermission.
An interception by Tyler Bailey of the Bulldogs set up the second touchdown.
Baraga – thwarted all night by the big Hancock front line – continued to struggle in the second half. Sean Patchin, Jacob Keranen and Myles Rajala led an improved interior push.
The Purple and Gold did manage to reach the Hancock 27-yard line in the third quarter as tailback Michael Turunen did some nice running.
Barnes added a 24-yard TD jaunt in the third period, but the biggest play of the night belonged to teammate Jack Fenton.
Fenton, just a sophomore, got to the outside late in the final stanza and dashed 93 yards to paydirt.
The Hancock attack was paced by Fenton with 160 yards rushing. Barnes added 140 more yards in 10 carries.
The hard-working Turunen led the Vikes with 64 yards in 13 carries.
DeMink said his young team continued to play hard.
“We did some good things tonight … not just enough of them against a team like Hancock,” DeMink said. “We’ll keep on working.”
The Bulldogs host a rugged Northland Pines, Wis., team next Friday. Baraga, now 0-2, travels to Gogebic the same evening.
Walter said his team will have to be more physical against the Eagles
“They come right at you and we’ll have to match that intensity,” he said.