Many routs throughout Week 4 in U.P. football
HOUGHTON – The only changes in this week’s second U.P. Sportswriters and Sportscasters football poll came at the bottom, including the first appearance by a WestPAC team.
Neither of the two teams atop the Division 1-7 group had to endure much of a challenge in Week 4.
No. 1 Menominee blew out Gladstone 56-6 and led 42-0 at halftime on the strength of four first-half touchdown runs by senior running back James Brown.
On the northern half of the peninsula, Ishpeming had no problems with neighbor Westwood.
After scoring just once in the first quarter, the Hematites had four touchdowns in the second quarter, three on short touchdown runs from Bobby Zhulkie, and triggered the running clock rule by early in the third quarter in a 41-6 knockout.
The breakdown of votes is the same as last week: Menominee with 23 points and three first-place votes and Ishpeming with 22 and two first-place votes.
Kingsford is third on all ballots after a 49-13 Homecoming blowout of Rhinelander, Wis.
Quarterback Joe Hofer threw three first half touchdown passes and the Flivvers ran in two more scored to lead the Hodags 35-13 by halftime.
The No. 1 Maroons host the No. 3 Flivvers Friday night.
Negaunee is fourth on all ballots after another blowout win, though not over a typical patsy. The Miners had Iron Mountain down 36-0 at half and 14-0 after just four minutes on the strength of two Austin Caya TD runs, going on to a 36-8 decision.
At 1-3 with powerful Kingsford still on the schedule, the Mountaineers risk a first season without playoff football since 1998.
The new No. 5 team this week is West Iron County. The Wykons are 4-0 for the first time since 1990 after a 49-0 rout in Ironwood last Friday. It’s the first time a WestPAC team has been ranked since Calumet made an appearance for one week after Week 8 last season.
After beating Munising, L’Anse and Iron Mountain in the first three weeks, the Wykons turn north to play the three Houghton County WestPAC teams over the next four weeks. They’ll play at Houghton Friday night against surprising Houghton before later home games against Calumet and Hancock.
WIC got four poll points.
Marquette (3-1), which fell out of the top five after a 35-14 flop at previously winless Escanaba, got a single vote.
In the small-school division, there was a similar dearth of competitive contests.
No. 1 Forest Park routed Ontonagon 53-0, while North Dickinson merely stymied Mid-Eastern Conference rival Stephenson 27-6.
The Trojans still have a one-point edge in the voting with 23 points (and three first-place votes) to the Nordics’ 22 (and two first-place votes).
North Central is No. 3 on all ballots after a blowout home win against Baraga.
The 4-0 Jets host the 4-0 Trojans Friday night in Powers.
The next two teams are from the east end. St. Ignace (3-1) is No. 4 after following a shutout loss in its opener with a three-game win streak. The Saints play Sault Ste. Marie this week for the first time since 2008.
Pickford (3-1) enters the poll for the first time this week after a forfeit win over Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., White Pine.
Gogebic (3-1) and Lake Linden-Hubbell (2-2) received a single vote apiece.
Rapid River won a 3-2 vote with Cedarville for the top spot in this week’s eight-man poll.