Calumet welcomes defending champ and No. 1 Ishpeming

HOUGHTON – Three local WestPAC teams will have their home openers in Week 3 of the prep football season tonight.

The most noteworthy of those is in Calumet, where coach John Croze’s Copper Kings host the No. 1 team in the Associated Press Division 7 state football poll, Ishpeming.

The defending state champion Hematites are 2-0 and remain unscored upon after blowing out 2012 playoff teams Iron Mountain (36-0) and Manistique (38-0).

Calumet enters with an 0-2 record after a second road loss last Friday, 38-16 at Negaunee.

Last Friday in Manistique, Ishpeming quarterback Alex Briones threw a pair of touchdown passes to Tyrus Millimaki and ran for a team-leading 98 yards.

At Hancock, the Bulldogs play at McAfee Field for the first time this year against Northland Pines, Wis.

The Bulldogs got off the mat by rolling Baraga 49-0 last Friday to even their record at 1-1, but face an Eagles team that has wins in its first three contests.

Pines quarterback Cooper Kerner has taken over the offensive leadership from graduated tailback Austin Ramesh and is 24-for-41 for 632 yards and nine TDs in wins over Wittenberg-Birnamwood, Calumet and Ontonagon.

In L’Anse, the Purple Hornets will look to get back in the win column in non-league play against Ontonagon.

Last Friday, West Iron County surprised the Purple Hornets 27-14 in Iron River, but coach Mark Leaf’s crew are back at Meadowbrook Field, where they won five of six games last season, including a first-round playoff miracle against Forest Park.

Ontonagon enters 0-2 after losses to North Central and Northland Pines in the first two weeks.

Elsewhere in WestPAC play, Houghton (1-1) hits the road for the first time this season for a matchup at Ironwood.

The Red Devils, playing at home for the first time this season, lost to Hurley, Wis., and Washburn/Bayfield/South Shore, Wis., in the first two weeks and stud quarterback Adam Mackey exited last week’s game early after apparently reinjuring the foot he broke in the Class C district basketball tournament in March.

With a win, the Gremlins can start 2-1 for the first time since 2008.

Lake Linden-Hubbell is at home for the second week in a row, this time in a non-conference game against North Central Saturday.

The Jets (2-0), based in Powers in northern Menominee County, survived with their 100 percent record intact from a Week 2 trip to Munising thanks to a pair of Rob Granquist touchdown passes in the second quarter of a 14-12 decision.

The Lakes’ pass defense figures to be tested, as Granquist made 23 pass attempts for the Jets last week.

LL-H (1-1) won the first meeting between the teams since 1988 by a 30-24 score last season in Powers.

In Great Western Conference play 0-2 Baraga travels to play the 2-0 Gogebic Miners.